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The space age started 11000 years before the Butlerian Jihad. Early space travel was widespread and proceeded in a fashion largely unregulated, slow and uncertain.
A once-in-a lifetime experience, it was accomplished by a hodgepodge of methods with successive waves of general expansion and cross-migrations of large populations.
Virtually every state had access to interplanetary trade and interstellar travel, and none could be excluded. Trade between the planets, systems and the stars was essentially anarchic and space piracy was common.
After the Jihad, interstellar trade fell in Dark Ages without machines to guide ships through hyperspace, becoming very slow and expensive. The economic forces governing trade of this sort resembled the ancient great caravan routes which had sprung up on various planets with rich, widely separated cultures.
While many of these routes dealt with different commodities, they had certain aspects in common. They dealt only in the most expensive and least bulky items available. Thus almost all the trade was in luxury goods. Such was also the case with what trade survived the Butlerian Jihad. Spices (not melange as yet), jewelry (the jewelry planet, Hagal, whose deposits were legendary ten millennia later, was1 worked out in three and one half centuries, and fifty of those years were before the development of CHOAM), luxury clothing materials (ancient silk, modern schlag skin) — these became the stuff of the caravan trading which was all that connected many worlds between the Great Revolt and the coming of the Guild.
- This article is a stub: It may require more information.
- ORANGE CATHOLIC BIBLE. THE FUNDAMENTAL SCRIPTURE OF THE IMPERIUM