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Latin Christendom's Contact with Asia


Seminar Questions

  • Was Latin Christendom's contact with Asia largely a result of the spread of international trade?
  • Why were Western Europeans so eager to make contact with the Mongols?
  • Were European attitudes towards Asians primarily built on fictions?

Documents


Introductory Reading

Barber, The Two Cities, 458-461

Bartlett, The Making of Europe, 236-242, 269-314

Waley and Denley, Later Medieval Europe, 280-291


E-Resources

Further Reading


Asia

Abulafia, David, 'Asia, Africa and the Trade of Medieval Europe', in M.M. Postan et al. (eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, vol. 2: Trade and Industry in the Middle Ages, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 402-473.

Amitai-Preiss, Reuven, and David O. Morgan, (eds), The Mongol Empire and its Legacy (Leiden, 2000)

Franke, H., and Twitchett, D. (eds.), Cambridge History of China, vol. 6, Alien Regimes and Border States 907-1368 (Cambridge, 1994)

Franke, H., China under Mongol Rule (Aldershot, 1994)

de Hartog, Leo, Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World (London, 2004)

Larner, John, Marco Polo and the Discovery of the World (New Haven, 1999)

Levathes, Louise, When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne (New York, 1994)

Menzies, Gavin, 1421 : the Year China Discovered the World (London, 2002) [See also The '1421' Myth Exposed]

Polo, Marco, The Travels, trans. Robert Latham (Harmondsworth, 1965)

Russell, Peter, Prince Henry 'the Navigator': A Life (New Haven, 2000)

Subrahmanyam, Sanjay, The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama (Cambridge, 1998)

Turnbull, Stephen, The Ottoman Empire, 1326-1699 (London, 2003)

Wood, Frances, Did Marco Polo Go to China? (London, 1995) [See also Igor de Rachewiltz, 'F. Wood's Did Marco Polo Go To China? A Critical Appraisal']


European Views of the Wider World

Allen, John L., 'Lands of Myth, Waters of Wonder: The Place of the Imagination in the History of Geographical Exploration', in Geographies of the Mind: Essays in Historical Geosophy, ed. David Lowenthal and Martyn J. Bowden (New Yorks, 1976), pp. 41-61.

Campbell, Mary B., The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing, 400-1600 (Ithaca, NY, 1988)

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, 'On Saracen Enjoyment: Some Fantasies of Race in Late Medieval France and England', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31 no. 1 ( 2001), 113-46.

Friedman, John Block. The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought (Cambridge, Mass., 1981) [pp. 178-196 online]

Lomperis, Linda, 'Medieval Travel Writing and the Question of Race', Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31 no. 1 ( 2001), 147-164.

Mandeville, Sir John, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, trans. C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth, 1983)

Mandeville, John, The Book of John Mandeville, ed. Tamarah Kohanski and C. David Benson (Kalamazoo, MI, 2007)

Polo, Marco, The Travels, trans. Robert Latham (Harmondsworth, 1965)

Strickland, Debra Higgs, 'Monsters and Christian Enemies', History Today 50 (2000), 45-51.

Wittkower, Rudolf, 'Marvels of the East: A Study in the History of Monsters', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 159-197.

Wood, Frances, Did Marco Polo Go to China? (London, 1995) [See also Igor de Rachewiltz, 'F. Wood's Did Marco Polo Go To China? A Critical Appraisal']

 

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