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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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2. Mining in Central Europe

The German state as we know it today was largely formed in an administrative sense in the 19th century by Otto von Bismark, the Prussian Prime Minister. Before that Germany had consisted of a number of loosely aligned states, independent but at times cooperative. The travels of Georgius Agricola over many years, as he compiled his analysis of German mining in De Re Metallica, took him to a number of these states, although his particular emphasis seems to have been on his own Saxony.

Agricola was firmly of the belief that metals and mining lay at the heart of civilisation, stating in Metallica that ‘man could not do without the mining industry, nor did Divine Providence will that he should’. He does, however, give ...

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