The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the transportation of food in medieval Britain and mainland Europe as reflected by the functional diversity of roads. The movement of agricultural produce, livestock, and salt from their places of production (arable lands, vineyards, pastures, and mines) through a potential place of processing and storage (mills and monasteries) to that of distribution (fairs and markets) created different types of communication routes linking them. My paper focuses on the different names, physical properties, infrastructural elements, and geographical distribution of routes used for the transportation of one specific type of food.
The goal of the paper is to present the Morlachs living in the eastern area of the Venetian Dalmatia as merchants of sheep breeding products. During its first century of direct administration in Dalmatia, Venice has to take into consideration the permanence of the Morlachs in the region and their specific semi-nomadic life-style. Therefore, observing the sources regarding the local market regulations one can identify various situations in which the Morlachs appear to be selling ‘caseus vlachescus’, ‘caxei murlachi’, or ‘formazo murlacho’, and buying salt. Tolerating and regulating the Morlach trade with sheep breeding products, the Venetian regional administration obtains two main advantages. On one side, the damages done by the Morlachs with their herds grazing in the crops of the locals begin to be controlled, and secondly, Venice gains access to the commercial routes existing beyond the eastern border. The arrival of the Morlachs in the Dalmatian cities as cheese merchants and salt buyers appears in sources as elements which define one aspect of the Morlach social portrait.
Medieval Ljubljana which in the 15th century counted around 5000 inhabitants and was principal town in the province of Carniola relied on its natural environment in many ways. The Ljubljanica River and the Ljubljana Marshes to the southwest of Ljubljana played a special role. The river, besides being an important communication channel, served as a source of water and food as well as of energy and drainage for various crafts like millers, butchers, tanners, and shoemakers. Archaeological finds from the river, such as fishing gear, pottery, knives, agricultural tools, arrowheads for hunting etc. document various activities connected to the river and nearby marshes which served for cutting grass and for hunting. Historical sources tell us of rights and privileges given by the territorial prince to townspeople, monasteries, feudal lords, and other landowners to use river, fishponds, pastures, meadows, and nearby forests in the region. They mention farms located not only at the edges of marshes but also at hills in the marshes area. The paper wants to present the variety and importance of activities in this specific natural environment for the medieval town and to outline perspectives for further research of this cultural landscape.