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tobacco (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Lord Eogan Og:

> I was doing a little light reading on the Bubonic Plauge over breakfast
> this morning and I came across a curious fact.  Apparantly, smoking
> tobacco was a common plague remedy during the 14th century, especially in
> Holland.  Now, I had always thought that tobacco did not come into use in
> Europe until after the age of Exploration in the late 15th and 16th
> centuries, when the plant was brought over from the Americas.  I assumed
> that if this was the case it would be a commodity available only to the
> upper crust, and made more widely available as time went on.  

Could you tell me whence you got this cheery datum? Tobacco, as
can be seen in the OED, is a word not native to the Old World,
and the plant, so far as I know, certainly isn't. Of course,
plague was still a problem for Europeans as late as the middle of
the seventeenth century, which certainly makes it possible for
some doctor to have declared cancer weed to be a cure for Black

> 	Was there some European form of tobacco that would have been used
> as a plague remedy in the 14th century?  (Please, no posts about Viking,
> Celtic, or any other pre-Columbian American settlements--that's not what
> I'm asking about, we've done it two or three times already, and I doubt
> any of these excursions caused a great tobacco trade).

About the only herb I know of that would have been smoked in
the Old World in the Middle Ages would be hash, which was known
for ages.

Pedro de Alcazar, AoA
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Pursuivant Extraordinary and Junior Minion
Or, six Castles Vert within a Bordure Gules Bezantty
Craig Levin
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