When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars,Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East"
While European civilization stagnated in the "Dark Ages," Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of spiritual, commercial, and intellectual connections, the distant regions of Asia’s vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with trade, international diplomacy, and the exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a compelling and unique look at Asia from AD 700 to 1500-a time when Asia was the world-by relating the personal journeys of Asia’s many travelers.(Amazon)
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Da Capo Press
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When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars,Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East" review for high school educators
When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars,Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East" takes an interesting perspective of Asian culture in the ancient world and the impact that it has on the world as a whole. This book is written in the form of 9 "stories" or perspectives of various Asian historical figures, allowing students to both see the events from the eyes of a non-European perspective as well as personalize somewhat with the material. The book seems to jump from place to place, making it difficult to create one single, coherent thought process, but would be great as either an introductory lesson(assigning the students a section of the book to briefly cover a concept before exploring it in greater detail during class, or as a supplemental resource. You could even use this style as a form of assignment for 9th grade students, having them write their own "accounts" of key events in ancient Asia. Overall, while this is not something that I would rely heavily on in the classroom, it is in fact a good resource for skimming the top level of Asian impact across the ancient world.