China and the West

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***5 pages paper around 2000 words*******

There are two questions for the essay.

  • 1.Compare the means of travel employed by William of Rubruck, Marco Polo, and Raban Sauma (individually, in groups, in caravans, with official escort, etc.) and how that travel was affected by their status and by the condition of the lands through which they passed.(In the case of Marco Polo, I am concerned mainly with his travel to and from China, not on his travels within China.)
  • 2.Compare the missions of John of Plano Carpini to the Mongols and Raban Sauma to Europe. In doing so, you should consider what the objectives that they were given (by Pope Innocent IV and Arghun respectively) and whether they successful in carrying them out.

In writing your essays, please give as much supporting detail as you can from the writings that you are discussion. For class books that you use, quotations and specific references should be cited a parenthetical citation identifying the source and with page number.

******You must choose at least two books from the following books******

Christopher Dawson, Mission to Asia.

John Gregory, China and the West Since 1500

David Mungello, The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800.

Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, Ronald Latham, trans.

Morris Rossabi, Voyager from Xanadu: Rabban Sauma and the First Journey from China to the West.

Jonathan Spence, The Question of Hu.

Joanna Waley-Cohen, The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History

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