Rice civilization



It is called rice civilization all territories and populations of which rice is (or rather was) the main crop and the main food. It covers mainly the Asian continent and opposes as such the civilization of wheat (Europe and the Middle East) and corn (America). This concept, coined by the French historian Fernand Braudel, is mainly applied to the history of the world from Antiquity to. By the end of, the first globalization blurs the tracks and makes this description obsolete. Rice is the civilization plant of the Asian continent. Braudel tells us that it is a “dominant, tyrannical” plant. Rice and wheat come from the same geographical area: Central Asia. The West chose wheat while the Orient opted for rice. The main advantage of rice on wheat is to be able to produce two or even three harvests a year. These yields, however, require a very strict agricultural calendar and permanent efforts, which is not the case for wheat.

* Fernand Braudel, material civilization, economy and capitalism, -, Paris, Armand Colin, 1979, volume 1, chapter “The bread of every day”, p.81-152.

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