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Lengthy ahead of Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of fine desire en path to India, the peoples of Africa, the center East, and Asia engaged in energetic cross-cultural exchanges around the Indian Ocean. This ebook makes a speciality of the years seven hundred to 1500, a interval whilst robust dynasties ruled either areas, to record the connection among the Islamic and chinese language worlds ahead of the arriving of the Europeans. via an in depth research of the maps, geographic bills, and travelogues compiled by way of either chinese language and Islamic writers, the e-book lines the advance of significant contacts among humans in China and the Islamic international and explores their interactions on issues as various as international relations, trade, mutual figuring out, global geography, navigation, shipbuilding, and clinical exploration. while the Mongols governed either China and Iran within the 13th and fourteenth centuries, their geographic realizing of every other's society elevated markedly. This wealthy, attractive, and pioneering learn bargains glimpses into the worlds of Asian geographers and mapmakers, whose amassed knowledge underpinned the distinguished voyages of eu explorers like Vasco da Gama.

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