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Trancontinatental connections

Overview

The expansion of the Mongol empire began from the early 13th century CE. Even though it withdrew from Hungary in 1242, the Mongol empire had conquered much of the land in Eurasia including China, central Asia, Russia and Iran by 1279. The impact of its expansion reflects on the period called Pax Mongolica. In this period of time, we see the occurrence of cultural diffusion as well as the rises and falls of empires. Moreover, how the transcontinental connections influence Eurasia and intercontinental relationships are worth investigating. As such, in this website, we will examine five key aspects that shaped the transcontinental connections in Eurasia during the Mongol period. The five aspects we will discuss are the relationship between the Popes and the Great Khans impacting the Mongol-European interconnection, the sources of the Black Death and its impact on Eurasia, the innovation, application, and outsourcing of advanced technology during Pax Mongolica, the commodities originated in different kingdoms being traded throughout Eurasia, and the influence of exotic culture on local art.

Pope served as a representator of Europe at the time. As religion was very influential and the Mongols need to justify supremacy not only over the local ruler but also the local religion. The Pope was a major communicator between Europe and the Mongol Empire. Carpini was designated to travel in the command of the Pope. William though follows the order of King Louis IX, he was a missionary and his account is mostly related to religion. And in DW, the Kublai Khan was directly asking to communicate with the Pope but not any King.

The transcontinental connection spread the black death disease and caused fatal disasters for both continents. In my research, I talk about the source of black death and how it affected Eurasia. The Central-Asia theory of the source of plague is first discussed. Then, the impact of the plague on Europe and Asia are more detaily described. It caused the social, economic, environmental, and religious change in Europe and the instability of Mongol Empire in Asia. The plague, black death, was a disease that spread through the transcontinental connection of Pax Mongolica. Unlike other aspects of the connection, this was the most disadvantageous one of the Mongol Europe connection. To be concluded, it actually crumbled the transcontinental connection by creating disasters for both continents, Asia and Europe.

Pope served as a representator of Europe at the time. As religion was very influential and the Mongols need to justify supremacy not only over the local ruler but also the local religion. The Pope was a major communicator between Europe and the Mongol Empire. Carpini was designated to travel in the command of the Pope. William though follows the order of King Louis IX, he was a missionary and his account is mostly related to religion. And in DW, the Kublai Khan was directly asking to communicate with the Pope but not any King.
Pax Mongolica referred to a period of time where the commercial routes in Eurasia were guaranteed by the Mongol empire, which allowed commodities from various kingdoms exchanged and spread from the East to the West and vice versa. Transcontinental connections provide paths for these merchandise to be delivered to anywhere along the trade routes. Silk and horse were two most popular commodities that the merchants traded within Eurasia. In Marco Polo’s account in the Description of the World, horses were most desired by the Indians and silk was popular and desired by the western kingdoms. As trade was an integral part of the Pax Mongolica period, the commodities being traded by merchants were crucial elements to be considered when examining the aspects that shaped the transcontinental connections within Eurasia.
The establishment of Mongol Empire also facilitated the blending of art works world wide, which is an inevitable trend brought about by the need of politics, people’s spiritual lives and more. As a result, the concept of Pax Mongolica will not be completed unless we mention the aspect of art. In the course of transcontinental communications, artisans are better able to influence each other by appreciating works of others and collaborating on specific projects. First, I will be focusing on the aspect of Porcelain Art and the encounter of south west Asian and Chinese design of blue-and-white porcelain. I will also be focusing on stories of Anige, a Nepali artist, in Yuan court who participated in the building of stupa and painted the famous portraits of Khubilai and his wife Chabi. After all, understanding the traits of art works in that period in return helps us understand the cross-continental Mongol rule more comprehensively.

Conclusion

The five aspects that we discuss in this website, religion, disease, technology, commerce, and art, are crucial in shaping transcontinental connections. As the Mongol’s territory stretched across the Eurasian continent, there arose many opportunities for ideas, merchandise, cultures being exchanged, and thus created huge impacts on transcontinental connections. Our research on the five aspects all support that the Mongol empire had contributed to the transcontinental connections reflecting on the economic, social, and cultural development in the Mongol empire.

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