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Asian Trade and Heroic Narrative from Marco Polo to Milton

Asian Trade and Heroic Narrative from Marco Polo to Milton

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Asian Trade and Heroic Narrative from Marco Polo to Milton
Source:
Trade and Romance
Author(s):
Michael Murrin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226071602.003.0001

The main concern of this book is literary: the impact of trade into Farther Asia on writers of heroic narrative in Western Europe. I study three phases of this interaction, each with four chapters. The first might be called the Mongol period. The second concerns the Portuguese discovery of the sea route to India. The third or English phase involves their interaction with Russian traders, either travelling together with them or in following reports of Russian exploration in Siberia. In all three phases, the travelers to Asia themselves require checking, and to that end this includes the author’s personal account of most of the places they describe.

Keywords:   Italians, Portuguese, English, Russians, exploration, commerce

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