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Long before Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope en route to India, the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia engaged in vigorous cross-cultural exchanges across the Indian Ocean. This book focuses on the years 700 to 1500, a period when powerful dynasties governed both regions, to document the relationship between the Islamic and Chinese worlds before the arrival of the Europeans. Through a close analysis of the maps, geographic accounts, and travelogues compiled by both Chinese and Islamic writers, the book traces the development of major contacts between people in China and the Islamic world and explores their interactions on matters as varied as diplomacy, commerce, mutual understanding, world geography, navigation, shipbuilding, and scientific exploration. When the Mongols ruled both China and Iran in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, their geographic understanding of each other’s society increased markedly. This rich, engaging, and pioneering study offers glimpses into the worlds of Asian geographers and mapmakers, whose accumulated wisdom underpinned the celebrated voyages of European explorers like Vasco da Gama.Read more
- Fascinating study of Asian maritime history before the arrival of Europeans focusing on the relationship between Islamic and Chinese communities
- Based on primary sources, the book explores how these cultures intersected and exchanged geographic and navigational information
- A book for scholars and students of Chinese and Islamic history, world history and geography
Reviews & endorsements
"… it is a courageous account and may serve as an excellent introduction to this field of study."
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: October 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107547834
- length: 306 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.41kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus. 13 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. From imperial encounter to maritime trade: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world, 750–1260
2. The representation of China and the world: Islamic knowledge about China, 750–1260
3. Interpreting the Mongol world: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world, 1260–1368
4. Beyond Marco Polo: Islamic knowledge about China, 1260–1368
5. Legacy from half the globe before 1492: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world and Islamic knowledge about China, 1368–1500
Conclusion: lessons from pre-modern Sino-Islamic contact.
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