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Sir_Godspeed

Forests of Fantasy Maps

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On 11/1/2019 at 6:19 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

This is not necessarily a question solely about to what degree Gloranthan areas that aren't explicitly covered in trees on the maps have some tree cover on the ground as well (although some discussion on that is welcome - I remember reading or watching a video that said the Bronze Age saw the largest agricultural footprint in terms of square miles in the history of Britain, for example), but it's perhaps equally a question of what makes a forest with a big F, and what are just a bunch of trees just hanging about. 

It is worth pointing out that a "capital F" forest isn't what we think, it is in fact called a Wood.  The old definition is that one may "foray" through a "forest" (i.e. traverse with an armed band typically including mounted individuals) but not through a "wood" as the vegetation i simply too thick.  Today we use the terms forest and wood interchangeably, but they are in fact technical terms with separate meanings.  Sherwood  Forest seems like a redundant name (why wood + forest? Redundancy!) for example, but it actually referred to the track cut through the Wood, as the path allowed "foray".  That is why it formed a good ambush point for RH et al MM.

It might also be worth pointing out that when Europe was covered in forest, one of the primary forms of agriculture was to farm pigs, as the natural diet of wild boar (which were pretty much identical to the farmed swine of the period) was acorns, and as the woodland was abundantly supplied with acorns, it was cheap and easy high energy feed.

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

It is worth pointing out that a "capital F" forest isn't what we think, it is in fact called a Wood.  The old definition is that one may "foray" through a "forest" (i.e. traverse with an armed band typically including mounted individuals) but not through a "wood" as the vegetation i simply too thick.  Today we use the terms forest and wood interchangeably, but they are in fact technical terms with separate meanings.  Sherwood  Forest seems like a redundant name (why wood + forest? Redundancy!) for example, but it actually referred to the track cut through the Wood, as the path allowed "foray".  That is why it formed a good ambush point for RH et al MM.

 

This seems like a particular Anglophone issue.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

This seems like a particular Anglophone issue.

Yep, in French, "bois" ("wood") is the opposite: it denotes a small forest ("forêt"). These days, in Europe, the term "forest" seems to be standardized around a surface of at least half an hectare, with a tree coverage of at least 20%. In Canada, it seems to be any area with a tree crown density of at least 10% (and that can be a big area... under this definition, almost half of Canada as a whole is covered in forests).

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Yep, in French, "bois" ("wood") is the opposite: it denotes a small forest ("forêt"). These days, in Europe, the term "forest" seems to be standardized around a surface of at least half an hectare, with a tree coverage of at least 20%. In Canada, it seems to be any area with a tree crown density of at least 10% (and that can be a big area... under this definition, almost half of Canada as a whole is covered in forests).

I don't think this was true in Canada, since the famous coureurs du bois were traversing intense, nearly impassible wooded regions to get to the Plains.

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15 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I don't think this was true in Canada, since the famous coureurs du bois were traversing intense, nearly impassible wooded regions to get to the Plains.

I don't know how this was ported to english, but french is 'coureur des bois', wich means 'coureur dans les bois', literally meaning 'people that run in forestS' or 'people that go through forestS'. Several 'bois' linked together makes a 'forêt'.

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9 hours ago, Kloster said:

I don't know how this was ported to english, but french is 'coureur des bois', wich means 'coureur dans les bois', literally meaning 'people that run in forestS' or 'people that go through forestS'. Several 'bois' linked together makes a 'forêt'.

i mean mind my grammar, my point was those were 90%+ forested, unlike areas in what is now the US.

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On 11/15/2019 at 12:49 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

This seems like a particular Anglophone issue.

And what language are we using?  

In fact I think you will find it derives from the old French "forrier" from which we get foray, forage, foreign and forest.  The etymology of "wood" is a combination of welsh and old germanic.  

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6 hours ago, Darius West said:

And what language are we using?  

In fact I think you will find it derives from the old French "forrier" from which we get foray, forage, foreign and forest.  The etymology of "wood" is a combination of welsh and old germanic. 

I suppose "Anglophone" was a bit too wide, I should perhaps have used "of a particular usage shaped by Medieval English semantics".

Glorantha* does not really have royal privilege on hunting, nor does it have organized forestry**, and so post-Norman technical terminology on woodlands isn't hugely helpful in understanding the classification of vegetation and cartographical representation of said vegetation types.

(*Nor does Middle-Earth, for that matter)
(**outside of some possible cases in Esrola, heartland Peloria and Seshnela, maybe)

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48 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I suppose "Anglophone" was a bit too wide, I should perhaps have used "of a particular usage shaped by Medieval English semantics".

Glorantha* does not really have royal privilege on hunting, nor does it have organized forestry**, and so post-Norman technical terminology on woodlands isn't hugely helpful in understanding the classification of vegetation and cartographical representation of said vegetation types.

(*Nor does Middle-Earth, for that matter)
(**outside of some possible cases in Esrola, heartland Peloria and Seshnela, maybe)

With extensive Aldryami woods near human habitation, it could actually be more of an issue. You might have to be recognized as an Elf-Friend in  some areas in order to hunt, depending on game.

SDLeary

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