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When Asia Was the World

Gordon, Stewart (Book - 2008 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
When Asia Was the World
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While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia's vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with commerce, international diplomacy, and the brisk exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a look at Asia from A.D. 500 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by describing the personal journeys of Asia's many travelers--the merchants who traded spices along the Silk Road, the apothecaries who exchanged medicine and knowledge from China to the Middle East, and the philosophers and holy men who crossed continents to explore and exchange ideas, books, science, and culture.--From publisher description.
Authors: Gordon, Stewart, 1945-
Title: When Asia was the world
Publisher: [Cambridge, Mass.] : Da Capo Press, c2008
Characteristics: viii, 228 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Stewart Gordon
Contents: Monasteries and monarchs : Xuanzang, 618-632 CE
Caliph and caravan : Ibn Fadlan, 921-922 CE
Philosopher and physician : Ibn Sina, 1002-1021 CE
Ingots and artifacts : the Intan shipwreck, circa 1000 CE
Pepper and partnerships : Abraham bin Yiju, 1120-1160 CE
Nobles and notables : Ibn Battuta, 1325-1356 CE
Treasure and treaty : Ma Huan, 1413-1431 CE
Blood and salt : Babur, 1494-1526 CE
Medicines and misunderstandings : Tomé Pires, 1511-1521 CE.
The Asian world : 500-1500 CE
Summary: While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia's vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with commerce, international diplomacy, and the brisk exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a look at Asia from A.D. 500 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by describing the personal journeys of Asia's many travelers--the merchants who traded spices along the Silk Road, the apothecaries who exchanged medicine and knowledge from China to the Middle East, and the philosophers and holy men who crossed continents to explore and exchange ideas, books, science, and culture.--From publisher description.
ISBN: 030681739X
9780306817397
0306815567
9780306815560
Branch Call Number: 915 G665w 2008
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-221) and index
Subject Headings: Asia Civilization Travelers Asia History Asia Description and travel
Topical Term: Travelers
LCCN: 2007035608
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While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia's vast civi... Read More »


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Apr 05, 2014
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A concise summary of several medieval travelers' accounts, providing a good introduction to Asian trade of the time. Readers wanting more in-depth knowledge can consult the bibliography for the full-length memoirs and related works.

Oct 29, 2009
  • bootlegga rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Gordon translates personal biographies and memoirs to paint an interesting picture of Asia. A fascinating look at Asia from 500 to 1500, as seen throught the eyes of people who lived during the time.

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