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Title: Dragon's Brain Perfume: An Historical Geography of Camphor
Author: Donkin, R A
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 1999
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004109834
Volumes: 1; Pages: xx, 308
List Price in Cloth: $194.00 Our price: $164.99
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In the Dragon's Brain Perfume (a Chinese description of Camphor) once more the existence and importance of world systems of exchange becomes clear. In the pre-industrial world aromatic substances have always counted among the most prominent items of long-distance trade. The finest camphor came from Malaya, Borneo and Sumatra, but long-distance trade took it to societies at the geographical poles of demand--China and the medieval West already in late Antiquity (ca. 6th century A.D.). In India it was in use at an even much earlier period.The present monograph opens with a survey of aromata generally--origins, time and place of demand--from the Ancient Civilizations to the Age of Discoveries. Chapter two concerns the natural history of camphor; subsequent chapters are organized by regions (India, Western Asia, the medieval West, South East Asia, China and Japan), with a postscript on Origins and Diffusion.Evidence is drawn from an extensive range of sources in natural and cultural history. The work includes 15 original maps, 28 illustrations, and an extensive bibliography.