This book features some of the greatest travellers in human history – people who undertook long journeys to places they knew little or nothing about. From Roman tourists, to the establishment of the Silk Road; an epic trek round China and India in the seventh century, to Marco Polo and through to the first speculations on space travel, Premodern Travel in World History provides an overview of long-distance travel in Afro-Eurasia from around 400BCE to 1500.
This survey uses succinct accounts of the most epic journeys in the premodern world as lenses through which to examine the development of early travel, trade and cultural interchange between China, central Asia, India and southeast Asia, while also discussing themes such as the growth of empires and the spread of world religions.
Complete with maps, this concise and interesting study analyzes how travel pushed and shaped the boundaries of political, geographical and cultural frontiers.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction – Why Travel? 2. Beginnings to 1000BCE Classical Period 3. The Middle East and the Mediterranean Region, 1000BCE to 500CE 4. China, Central Asia and the Establishment of the Silk Road, 200BCE to 500 CE The Post-Classical Period 5. Buddhist Journeys, 400 to 900 CE 6. A Decisive New Framework 7. Muslim Travelers, 700 to 1400 CE 8. Marco Polo and the Heritage of Christian Travel 9. An Explosion of Travel: The Fifteenth Century and Beyond 10. Conclusion
Stephen S. Gosch has taught world history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for the past twenty-five years. He is the co-editor (with Peter N. Stearns and Ernest Grieshaber) of Documents in World History, 2 vols., 4th ed. (Longman, 2006). He has traveled extensively.
Peter N. Stearns is Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University. He is author of Gender in World History (2000), Consumerism in World History (2001) and Western Civilization in World History (2003) all in this series. His other recent publications include The Global Experience (Longman, 2005) and World History in Brief (Longman, 2007).