Skip to main content

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

Marco Polo

Abraham Cresques, Atlas catalan

Tutor: Prof Anne Gerritsen and Prof Giorgio Riello
Office: H018 (Gerritsen) and H014 (Riello), ground floor of the Humanities Building
Email: and
Term-Time Office Hours: Gerritsen: M. 2-3 & W. 10-11; Riello: W. 11-12 & Th 9-10
Lecture Times: Tuesday 5-6 in room MS0.4
Seminar Times:
W9-10 (room S050) ;W11-12 (H005); W12-1 (H105); Th10-11(S052)


This module introduces students to the history of global interactions between different parts of the world. This one term module focusses on the early period 1200-1500. This module follows the circulation of people, knowledge, religion, and diplomatic encounter in the early modern world, and compares great land empires. The module will be set within the theoretical framework of global history. Topics include diasporas, material culture, the Chinese and Ottoman empires, the silk route, maps and travellers.

This second-year undergraduate 15 CATS module runs for ten weeks in the autumn term. By the end of the module students will:

  • Gain an understanding of non-European histories, and their connections with and impact on medieval and early modern European history.
  • Obtain knowledge of the processes which made the earlymodern 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 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 projects

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 in the spring term.