but ont the other hand, Braavos resembles Venice with it's channals. anyhow, the Free Cities as the self-governed cities of mdievel european cities makes sense, though I admit I'm not an expert on this subject. Pentos for some reason had always made me think of Florence... Maybe, and maybe not. I am quite sure it was laready mentioned here, but I didn't check the 20 odd pages of this thread(if sombody made a list of refernces it woukd have been nice:-)) - the TOKARS the nobility of Slavers Bay cities is wearing is quite similar to the TOGAS of the Roman Republic, both in shape and in the sense that only free men may wear them. So maybe the ancient Ghiscari Empire, from where the we can safely assume the TOAKRS originated, is actually the represntative of the Roman Empire in Martin-world... On a side note I have to mention, though I'm pretty sure that it already had been mentiond, that the Dothraki bear a great similarity to the Mongols. It occured to me during the awfuly borng movie "Mongol" I watched recently. the resembles include a great importance of horses and connection of a man to his horse(a man doesn't count for one if has no horse), the nomadic nature of both peoples and the existance of a holy place in the mountains(Mother of mountains - not quite certain here though). Additionaly, there is this unmistakeable resembles between the two words for a "tribe leader"(or king, for ack of better word) in both languages - KHAL versus KHAN.