History of Spices


  History of Spices

Spices which we take today for granted have once been the biggest trade in the world. It has contributed a great deal to the discovery of new land. It has made kings conquerors. It has created  and destroyed empires. It has made masters slaves. And this list of things is unending.

We hear stories of the Ancient Greeks and Romans controlling the spice trade in Europe and we also hear that once spices were used as a form of payment. In other words spices like cinnamon and cloves have been used as currency a long time ago.  All this is evidence to suggest how much spices were valued all over the world. 

As already mentioned the spice trade was mainly in the hands of the Arab traders who made a lot of profit by acting as middlemen. The Europeans did not have access to the Eastern spice market because during that time there was no sea route to reach the spice producing countries of Asia. 

Nevertheless during the 15th century that is during the Renaissance period people started to look afar for new opportunities. It was during this period they discovered the new sea route to the East and started to dominate the sea trade and particularly the spice trade in the world.

Among the nations who wanted to control the spice trade were the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and the English. Not only did they engage in the spice trade ,they also changed the whole of Asia tremendously