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The Seven Voyages of Zheng He
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Seven Voyages of Zheng He

Admiral Zheng He (aka Cheng Ho, c. 1371-1433 CE) was a Chinese Muslim eunuch explorer who was sent by the Ming dynasty emperor Yongle (r. 1403-1424 CE) on seven diplomatic missions to increase trade and secure tribute from foreign powers...
Food & Agriculture in Ancient Greece
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Food & Agriculture in Ancient Greece

The prosperity of the majority of Greek city-states was based on agriculture and the ability to produce the necessary surplus which allowed some citizens to pursue other trades and pastimes and to create a quantity of exported goods so that...
Canaan
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Canaan

Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous ancient country (at times independent, at others a tributary to Egypt) located in the Levant region of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. It was also known as Phoenicia. The origin...
Map of Roman & Parthian Trade Routes
Imageby Jan van der Crabben

Map of Roman & Parthian Trade Routes

This map shows the Roman-Parthian trade route system, circa between the 1st and the 3rd centuries CE. During this period, the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire were the two superpowers of the region and the Roman-Parthian trade system...
Uruk
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Uruk

Uruk was one of the most important cities (at one time, the most important) in ancient Mesopotamia. According to the Sumerian King List, it was founded by King Enmerkar sometime around 4500 BCE. Located in the southern region of Sumer (modern...
Carrack
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Carrack

The carrack (nao in Spanish, nau in Portuguese, and nef in French) was a type of large sailing vessel used for exploration, to carry cargo and as a warship in the 15th and 16th centuries. Famous carracks include the Santa Maria of Christopher...
Mali Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Mali Empire

The Mali Empire (1240-1645) of West Africa was founded by Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255) following his victory over the kingdom of Sosso (c. 1180-1235). Sundiata's centralised government, diplomacy and well-trained army permitted a massive...
Bronze Age Collapse
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Bronze Age Collapse

The Bronze Age Collapse (also known as Late Bronze Age Collapse) is a modern-day term referring to the decline and fall of major Mediterranean civilizations during the 13th-12th centuries BCE. The precise cause of the Bronze Age Collapse...
Oyo Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Oyo Empire

The Oyo Empire flourished from the 17th to 19th century CE in what is today southwest Nigeria. The Oyo forged an empire thanks to their formidable cavalry units and so came to dominate other Yoruba peoples of the region. The Oyo Empire, with...
Pirates in the Ancient Mediterranean
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Pirates in the Ancient Mediterranean

Piracy, defined as the act of attacking and robbing a ship or port by sea, had a long history in the ancient Mediterranean stretching from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (r. 1353-1336 BCE) and throughout the Middle Ages (c. 476-1500...
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