Premodern Travel in World History
Routledge – 2007 – 190 pages
Series: Themes in World History
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.
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