Not Just the Tudors

How Spices Shaped the Modern World

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Episode notes

In the 16th century, spices drove the world economy, creating riches on an unprecedented scale. Spanish and Portuguese explorers competed to find the elusive source of cloves and nutmeg, and when Portugal reached the spice islands of the Moluccas, it set in motion a fierce competition for control.


In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Roger Crowley, whose new book Spice: The 16th-Century Contest that Shaped the Modern World chronicles the adventures, shipwrecks, and sieges that formed the first colonial encounters—and remade the world economy for centuries to follow.

This episode was edited by xx and produced by Rob Weinberg.

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