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Caravans and Traders: Global Connections, 1200-1500 (HI2B8)

Marco Polo

Abraham Cresques, Catalan Atlas (detail), 1375.

Please see Moodle for Lecture Capture.

Convenors: Anne Gerritsen (H018) and

Guido van Meersbergen (H014)

Lecturers: Anne Gerritsen, Guido van Meersbergen, and RĂ©mi Dewiere

Seminar tutors: Guido van Meersbergen (H014) and Maxine Berg (H020)
Term-Time Office Hours: Tuesdays 4-5; Thursdays 11-12 (Van Meersbergen).
Lecture Times: Tuesdays 11-12, S0.19 (Social Science).
Seminar Times:
Term 1: Wednesday 11-12, H1.02 (Humanities) (Group 1), Wednesday 12-1, H1.05 (Humanities) (Group 2), Thursday 10-11, R1.13 (Ramphal) (Group 3).

Term 2: Wednesday 12-1pm, H1.05 (Humanities).


This one-term module introduces students to the history of global interactions between different parts of the world through a focus on early connections in the period 1200-1500. By following the circulation of people, knowledge, religion, and goods in the late medieval world, this module compares regions from the Mediterranean and Islamic world to India and China. The module will be set within the theoretical framework of global history. Topics include diasporas, material culture, the Mongol and Timurid empires, the silk roads, global cities, and medieval travellers.

This second-year undergraduate 15 CATS module runs for ten weeks in both the Autumn and Spring terms. In this module students will:

  • Gain an understanding of non-European histories, and their connections with and impact on medieval European history.
  • Obtain knowledge of the processes which made the late medieval world increasingly interconnected.
  • Engage with key concepts in global history such as "connections", "comparisons", "entangled histories", "micro-global" and "cultural exchange".
  • Engage with a wide range of approaches to history through primary and secondary sources.
  • Analyse a range of visual, material and textual sources.
  • Communicate ideas both orally and in writing.
  • Develop research skills, historiographical engagement, and critical analysis through essay writing and book reviews

There are no pre-requisite or post-requisite modules. However, students wishing to take this module are encouraged to consider also taking HI2C1 Galleons and Galleys: Global Connections 1500-1800