I also agree that most English-speaking people’s picture of early modern Europe does not have much on the Germanies and Poland-Lithuania in the 15th and 16th century. And that a lot of modern pictures of the period are mangled to support modern ideas about nationalism or imperialism (Victor Davis Hanson’s world history skips from Cicero to the siege of Tenochitlan, and that is not an accident … neither is all the research trying to prove that Europe [they mean some Catholic parts of Europe] became richer and more innovative than everywhere else in Eurasia at earlier and earlier dates). These cities which were getting rich and connected but not trying to conquer foreigners or build a nation-state were not useful to the old nationalists or the new Rise of the West ™ / Great Divergence narrative.
But I’m trying to put readers in mind of the general amount of durable goods which most working people had, because today I see fantasy fans whose olden times have prisons with cells closed by walls of 8′ high iron bars and mattresses with steel springs, and don’t grok why one of the first things robbers took was their victim’s clothes. I am trying to give a ‘good enough for gaming purposes’ view.
- This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by Philologus.