This chapter discusses interactions and trade between various cultures in the time from 1000 to 1500 CE.
Let us look first at who was making these journeys. There are two ways to answer this question. First, we can look at which cultures were making journeys. The two main cultures that were making the journeys were the Europeans and the Muslims. This chapter discusses, for example, the Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta and the European traveler Marco Polo. These two cultures were the ones that were most technologically able to travel and the ones that were most interested in making contacts with people of other cultures.
Second, we can ask what sorts of people were going on journeys. The book says that there were three types of people who typically went on journeys. These types of people were merchants, diplomats, and missionaries. The Europeans and the Muslims wanted to make money through trade. They wanted to maintain good relations with one another through diplomacy. They wanted to spread their own religious faiths through missionaries.
The result of these journeys was technological and cultural diffusion. Ideas from various areas of the world moved to other regions. For example, people heard new songs and stories and religious ideas from other parts of the world. They gained new technologies that made their lives easier by, for example, giving them more kinds of food to eat. Thus, the long-distance travel referred to in this chapter brought about important technological and cultural exchanges.