This innovative book examines cross-cultural encounters before 1492, focusing in particular on the major cross-cultural influences that transformed Asia and Europe during this period: the ancient silk roads that linked China with the Roman Empire, the spread of the world religions, and the Mongol Empire of the thirteenth century. The author's goal throughout the work is to examine the conditions - political, social, economic, and cultural - that enabled cultures, languages and ideas to interact and adapt to each other. The book identifies several distinctive pattern of conversion, conflict, and compromise that emerged from cross-cultural encounters. In doing so, it sheds light on the larger historical context of encounters between east and west in modern times.

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