Adrift from the Ming Dynasty to delve instead on Late Medieval/Early Renaissance Venice for my upcoming novel, The Mascherari. The jump between cultures is always fascinating. In contemplating two different worlds, one can't help but compare and contrast.
Here is a short multiple choice quiz for anyone wishing to win a FREE paperback copy of The Ming Storytellers. I will be giving away two copies in January 2014!
Simply leave a comment with your answers to each question. (You can also comment on the Facebook post here). Each question is worth a point unless advised. Answers will be posted the day before Christmas. Winners will be notified before NYE.
In the 16th century, which drink, referred to by many as "that Muslim drink" came to Venice by way of Constantinople?
a. Pu'erh tea
b. Oolong tea
e. Rose water
The Council of Ten, Venice's security council, was among the first European government body to veer away from vellum and make use of paper. But paper, as we know it, originated from China. Which other places fabricated paper before it found its use in Venice? This question is worth two points.
a. Samarkand, Paris
b. Samarkand, Germany
c. Germany, England
d. Samarkand, Spain
e. Samarkand, England
The Ming Dynasty Chinese guarded their Astronomy knowledge jealously. Their knowledge, which was enriched by Arab astronomers, was thought to favor the Chinese fleet and its naval supremacy. But China is not the only country whose rulers have held tight to knowledge whenever it aided politics or economical gain. Which practice did Venetians hold secret?
a. Glass making
b. Mask making
c. Rowing a gondola
The Doge, Venice's figurehead and symbolic ruler had, in contrast with a Chinese emperor, very little power. But much like a Chinese emperor who was the only person permitted to wear the color yellow, gold clothing was the exclusive apparel of the Doge.
What was the other particularity of the Venetian Doge?
a. he was not usually permitted to leave the palace
b. he hired eunuchs to run the Pregado (the Senate)
c. he had concubines
d. he was only appointed for one year
e. he never sat in a gondola
Shoes! What is female culture without these exquisite creations? Ming Chinese women tell us that one had to suffer bound feet in tiny embroidered slippers. What was the peculiarity of female shoes in Renaissance Venice?
a. Women loved to wear slippers
b. Shoes were invariably made of glass
c. Women wore platform shoes
d. Women wore wooden clogs
Porcelain skin, shaved and drawn eyebrows, lips with a cherry pout, long black jets of hair curled into a bun - these are all hallmarks of Ming Dynasty beauties. Which of these is a definitive marker of beauty for a woman in Late Medieval/Early Renaissance Venice:
a. Olive Skin
b. Red hair
c. Shaved, receding forehead