Sunday, November 15, 2009
November 15: Food Profiteers 300 Years Ago (Vol. 21, pp. 450-460)
You thought you were done with "I Promessi Sposi," didn't you. Sadly, no. There's more of it today. This time, Manzoni writes about bread riots and the mass psychosis of panic that was rampant in Milan during the plague epidemic of the 1600s. The government tried to fix grain prices to discourage profiteering, but it didn't work. The scarcer food got, the more panicked the people got.