Routes, Regards, and Relations: The Nature of Interregional Contact
The courses certain travelers took, what details were paid attention to based on where observers came from, and the overall relationships between peoples connected by the Silk Road and maritime trade led to a huge system of interregional contact. All these details built up a huge trade system called the Silk Road, a road that, along with over-sea travel, led to the creation of an Afro-Eurasian world-system. This system came to be based on how people came together and how they reacted with one another when they did, based on travel routes, race religions, technological advancements, and politics. Certain values were notably important, becoming huge factors in the expansion of the Old World.
The route, the direction of the journey, was a huge part of interregional contact. No relations could have ever occurred if no one had ever left their own civilization. Trade had begun in the world and societies all around were benefiting from goods imported, wealth from exporting, and alliances with far-off foreigners. Francis Balducci Pegolotti had noticed the benefits of trade over the Silk Road when he saw how other European businesses gained wealth by selling foreign products. He proposed trading in “Cathay” (China) in his Book of Descriptions of Countries (Doc. 1, p. 6-7) to his firm, the House of Bardi. Here it can be understood how someone would try to go about the journey. He approximates that it may take two-hundred eighty days, based on supposed number of days between certain towns stretching from Tana to Gamalec, the capital of Cathay. He provides helpful tips to merchants such as let their beard grow out, get a good translator, bring enough food to last until the first stop, and what they will have to pay for their goods. He lets them know that the route is perfectly safe and that they ought to bring a translator, two man-servants, the number of animals to carry a cart that can...
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