Where would our Roman Empire be without COFFEE?
Where would our eternal Roman Empire be without coffee?
What if the Aegyptians had never established trading contacts with the Horn of Africa? For the Aegyptians to venture so far southward in inferior ships, at risk of piracy! All the way down the Sinus Arabicus, a greater distance than from the port of Roma to the Pillars of Hercules! Whatever the allure of frankincense, ebony, and myrrh, as well as of ivory and animal skins from the interior of Africa…
What if Augustus Caesar had not amazed Rome by wedding Queen Cleopatra, and then conveyed Roman cargo vessels and naval escorts by way of the delta of the Nilus and the Sinus Heroopolites into the Sinus Arabicus, thence to Horn of Africa?
What if the rulers of the Horn hadn’t yet realised the efficacy of the bush whose burnt berries provide the most remarkable stimulus to body and mind?
Why, the legions of Rome mightn´t have been invigorated century after century to rise and shine and—full of beans, you might say—conquer the whole of Arabia and Barbaria and Parthia and Britannia and Hibernia and Germania and Dacia and Sarmatia! The thinking of our Emperors might not have been so perfectly clear and sharp.
Even more inconceivable, what if Hero of Alexandria had not adapted his steam-powered aeolipile thing into the expresso machine, that symbol of eternal Roman civilisation all the way from the Oceanus Atlanticus in the west to the river Indus in the east, from Scandia in the boreal north to the sources of the Nilus and the mouth of the Niger deep in Africa?
What if? is what I ask.