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The Fur Trade or the End of the World As We Know It?

How does any major disaster begin? It usually starts off small. With longer winters and colder temperatures, the fur trade is doing well throughout Outer Mongolia. The easiest and cheapest source of fur is the marmot, a large ground squirrel or wood chuck. But marmots carry a deadly disease... the bubonic plague. Occasionally an entire family of fur traders is wiped out but it is the risk they take. Currently the problem is contained and the local hunters have learned never to kill a slow-moving marmot, but soon, a series of natural disasters will push the marmots out of the wilderness and into close proximity with human settlements bringing the plague with them. At first it will cause havoc similar to the Justinian Plague of the 6th century, the first real pandemic. The second pandemic will make the first look like a walk in the park. For now, just relax. Business is great in the fur trade. It's the normal chaos. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Don't panic. Bubonic plague is not a big problem in North America but it still happens. Most of the conditions that caused the Black Death pandemic in the Middle Ages do not exist in North America today. However they DO exist in some parts of South America and various wilderness areas around the world. It might be a good idea to have a discussion about identifying sick animals in the woods. In the wilderness, animals that can't move quickly are sickly. Leave them be. Avoid dead animals, especially rodents like prairie dogs. The fleas on such animals are looking for a home and while it would take A WHOLE LOT OF FLEA BITES to make you sick, it is best not to borrow trouble. There are certain strong antibiotics that will probably save your life....86% success rate. You might not look too good afterward, but you'll be alive. The best advice is not to get it in the first place and most people are already doing what they should be doing... avoiding fleas like the plague.

6,000 Instant Christians

King John of Bohemia along with the Teutonic Knights are on a holy Crusade against the pagans of Lithuanian so, after 20 attempts to take the fort at Medvegalis, the Knights finally succeed by first pulling a raid against the livestock. Prince Margiris of Lithuania, thinking they are rustlers, sends his troops out to stop them. Then the main Teutonic force overwhelms them. It's going to be a slaughter but Prince Margiris calls out to King John for a man-to-man battle. King John agrees, but when some of Margiris's men attempt to interfere, Margiris recognizes the breech of honor, pays a ransom and surrenders. As a condition of the pagan's surrender, King John insists that the 6,000 men, women and children at the fort be baptized as Christians. A week later, the Teutonic forces are drawn away to battle Polish forces and the new Lithuanian Christians will revert back to their pagan ways. [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is clear that the Christians of this time have not learned the lessons of conversion by the sword. The people end up saying the right things but believe something else and resenting the imposition. That resentment will be passed on to their children, down the generations. Herod the Great is a good example of a forced conversion going wrong. His mother was forced to convert to Judaism and her resentment was passed on to her son. Things went downhill from there. In the modern day, mostly in Texas, live the children of forced converts, Spanish Christians from the late 1400s who still maintain their separateness. I met two such people and they are a delightful couple but they marry only amongst themselves and sometimes they will return to their original religion... Judaism. They are called Crypto-Jews or less flatteringly in the Spanish: marranos meaning "pigs". [8] [9] [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1329, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Dols, Michael W.. The Black Death in the Middle East, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1977. pp. 70-72. (BOOK)
  2. Orent, Wendy (Wendy Orent, bio). Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease, Free Press. 2004-May-4. pp. 106-107. (Mostly quoting Michael Dols). (BOOK)
  3. Marmot - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Plague of Justinian - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Suziedielis, Simas. Samogitia, Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board, 2003 [last update]
  6. Margiris - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Siege of Medvegalis - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Herod the Great - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Crypto-Judaism - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Marrano - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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