Download Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonisation from the by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto PDF

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By Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

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The jurats were royal nominees, the Consell an elective body, partly nominated by the jurats, partly elected by syndics in the localities. The representatives of the part forana- distinguished from those of the city - were chosen by bodies of rural syndics, appointed in turn by a combination of election and lottery; the growth of their numbers from 3 after the conquest to 10 in the reign of Sancho I and 63 by the end ofthe century- reflects the growth of population and of the importance of the hinterland.

Sards were numerous during the Sardinian wars of the House of Barcelona. So were Greeks, whose status as schismatics made them vulnerable. Most of the slaves who worked the quarries for the builder, sculptor and architect, Pero Mates, in the mid-fourteenth century were Greeks. Majorca - indeed, the Balearics as a whole was probably more of an emporium than a market for slaves in its own right. The island was a centre of re-export for the entire Arago-Catalan world for these and all manner of other goods.

In the generation after Muntaner's encomium, Majorca's economic miracle seems to have run out of steam. Between 1329 and 1343 the population of the city of Majorca, for instance, fell dramatically, from 5256 hearths to 4124. The loss of feudal 'independence' in 1343, and the reabsorption of the island under the direct lordship of the king of Aragon, may have helped to bring the pioneering period to an end, to remove a source of incentives and to make Majorca a less stimulating place to live in and operate from.

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