World -- West Meets East

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West Meets East


by Michael Johnathan McDonald

The designation of west and east are human constructs.

This is an early note section.

(1100s-1550s). Part one

After the Italian Renaissance and during the Northern renaissance Europeans began a systematic reconquering of the Arab trade routs. The Arabs during the middle ages kept the knowledge of their trade routs to the east as a ‘ prime factor’ of keeping the Europeans in darkness. Remember that they extracted tribute (taxes) from Spain (still with Portugal’s boundaries) and much of the eastern European countries they controlled. Europeans knew that silk came from the east but did not know who made it (Talking about China).

To begin discussion, the middle age European did not believe the earth was flat, according to propagandists of the twentieth century. It was the propagandist that wanted to make the dark ages seem worse than it really was -- in order to justify their own self-importance in modernity. The knowledgeable men knew it was round by the widely publicized decree of Aristotle ( Who just barrowed it from Socrates observations of Eclipses). In classical times (Greece Period) the people of Greece knew the earth was round, or circular. Aristotle wrote down, “ the Earth is round.” For a logical explanation as to why Helens ( People of Greece) knew of such a thing is that by observing the lunar eclipse, at different cycles the shadow of the earth could be seen caste upon its surface, showing the distinct circular body of the earth. The Italian renaissance man surely understood Aristotle, as the Church proclaimed that nothing outside of Aristotle is fact ( Unfortunately the Story of Galileo is a story of control and deception by the church for their agenda). Most people knew the earth was round. This played out in the significance of the idea of finding trade routs to other parts of the world to get around the Arabs who didn’t want the Europeans to join in a world union ( They wanted the routs all to them selves).

In natural history, a Roman book, the writer describes seeing a ship off in the distance where he could only see the tip of the mast. Then as the ship approached, he could see more of the ship, indicating that the sea was, in fact, not flat. Furthermore, the Greeks sculpted artwork with men holding globes indicating the earth. In addition to the Greeks a mathematician calculated that the circumference of the earth was 25,000 miles. This was close estimate because it came to measure approximately 26,000 miles in circumference. This goes to show that, indeed, the ancient world knew that the world was round. Another facet of the logic was called into play by the knowledge of the heat and cooling of the different regions of the earth. For example, when one got close to the equatr the weather was continuously warm compared to the upper regions of exploration that turned colder in continuity of the seasons. This played an important step in figuring out that the earth had poles and an equator. Ancients also knew of the southern hemisphere further developing the logic that people must live there and that their were two ‘ southern and northern hemispheres’ to earths regions. However, the geographic of the land of earth was still limited to the renaissance people. The earth is round will play a big part in the exploration of finding alternative trade routs blocked by the Arabs.

Other people knew of the Vikings discoveries of Iceland, Greenland, and a region of North America (See: Vinland sagas and Eric the Red). Regarding the east, the renaissance person knew of the term India and a region further that brought silk into Northern Italy. AS far as re discovering the east by the Europeans this would happen with the crusades and the finding out of the places further to the east once in the Holy Land and the monumental fact of the ‘ terror’ that caught the Europeans by complete surprise in 1240s AD.

Mongolian Surprise

No one in Europe knew it was coming; only a select few at the courts of the leaders of Hungary and Germany and Poland. Letters were sent to the courts warning them of a barbarians that let out blood curling screams, on fast horses, were approaching. The Clergy looked into their Bibles and consulted the prophecies. Even the Pope said “ The Mongols are not in the Bible by name.” They read the Bible wrong. They knew the name of Mongols and searched the Bible and could not find the exact word. So they reported to the leaders (kings) that nothing was to happen. This is equivalent to the White Paper released in 1999 by the Chinese leadership of a plan to take over the world, via Genghis Khans “universal ruler’ program. They even managed to proclaim that they found his burial place the same year. Today the resurrection of the east has been dominant in world politics in the last two decades and will continue in this century. Mongols, literally means, men from the east. This is where the term came from. No one knew their exact name so they called them by where they were coming from. Mongols were east-Asian peoples who were nomadic, pasturealists and lead rough lives. At the commands of the Mongol hords were the sons of the leader Genghis Khan. His name means universal ruler. His birth name was Temujin. In 1203 Wang Khan died, and Genghis assumed his title of King of the Keraits. Jamuka was betrayed to Temuchin, and he died in 1205. Thus the stage was set for Temuchin to be elected as renamed "Genghis Khan", over all of the Mongolian tribes; this was in 1206. The history shown that the Asian, far east, would become embolden to conquer the earth. One will note that similar circumstance happened in the 600s AD against the roughly the same areas of Europe. A Huns invasions, into Europe, against Romans, as a similar theme of the resurrection and conquering of eastern people (Mongoloids) in a western civilization. This is surely the match here, as Genghis Khans Proclamation decree, called in this year, for the conquering of the western civilizations, in which happened for the eastern people over the next 100-200 years (See: Proclamation 1205: Match to September 11, 1999).

After the proclamation Genghis Khan took his name that meant universal ruler [under the one sun of earth]. He begins to form his troops by conquering local tribes and forcing them to join him (of die). As he became stronger he ventured out in China and Northern India and conquered them. He tried the Japanese who were experts then an head chopping – they last and retreated. However, the significance was that they would tell the emissaries (monks from Europe) that the ‘head choppers’ (Japanese) did exist in the land they called “land of the rising sun.” The then turn and conquer Persia. Later, in 1240 blood curly screams echoed across Russia and the butchering commenced. They were butchers killing most everyone they came across. Savage to the bone. Later that year they made there way into Poland and Hungary and as far as east Germany. They destroyed everything in there path. If it wasn’t for the Khan who died leaving the throne of Mongols undefined as who was to rule, then we all would be speaking Mongolian. In fact, at that time plans to take Egypt were in place and western Europe as well. Meanwhile the leaders and Clerics who could not find the correct interpretation of the ‘ men from the east’ conquering them became scared that if the Mongols came back ( They retreated back to Mongolia because all the generals of the armies of the Mongols thought they had a stake in the throne) they would do worse than what they did. So they figured to send emissaries to their leaders for a diplomatic solution. These were monks who knew many languages including Russian. When they got to the Mongolian outpost they were led to the leaders who said to get lost. Only under one condition would diplomatic ties be made. That would be to have the Pope and all the leaders of the Western nations “to submit to the universal ruler.” So nothing was resolved. The significance of this is that the first Europeans to venture into that part of the world. The Pope meanwhile is scared to death as the Mongols plan another wave into Europe (this would eventually not happen as things deteriorate in the unity of the Mongolian rulers). So he plans another emissary mission. This time the two Polo brothers and a nephew named Marco. Marco Polo was born in Venice, Italy in the year 1254. this will further the knowledge for the Europeans to discoveries of the new worlds ( Being the far east). Significance of the monks and the Pope: 1245 is the date that the first Europeans travel to eastern parts of Asia, they do not get the treaty they are looking for and the Pope does not submit. " If Pope submits to me, then will talk" said the Mongols.. They keep good logs ( The recorded the happenings). In 1260 Marcos father and his uncle visited Constantinople and made their way to the domain of the Great Kublai Khan, ruler of China. They were merchants and had, also, ideas of making trade availed to the west. They began their eastern trek in 1260. After Kublai told them much, he was interested in Christianity – not sold on it – but interested to find out more. So he sent them back to the Pope. The Pope and the Church were still scared of the Mongolian threats of takeover, told the two to go back. This time they took Marco who would spent at least 12 years documenting the Far East. After Marco was vindicated back home, after a term in prison because people didn’t believe his tall tales of the Great Kublai Khan and Mongolians who ruled the eastern world,, he was let out because Sir. John Mandeville traveled himself and verified everything Marco told his friends back in Italy (The story is long so this is only a survey of the Polos).

1326 a Christian Bishop started a Christian outreach in Beijing, China: John of Monte Carlo. The Khans and leaders of the regions allowed him to preach in Beijing, but unfortunately no one bought Christianity. Many Italians now took to the east for travel. They traveled to India, Mongolia, China, and Persia. The relations with these men to the Asians possibly crossed over the realms of the Arab blockages of trade restrictions on the Europeans. For example, in Baghdad, the Mongolians killed all of the citizens of the city – well into the hundred thousands. The Arabs were scared of the Chinese and when they wanted to begin the trading with the west in the renaissance period they did so without Arab approval. They helped out in the downfall of the Arab world dominance that began, for the Arabs, close to the 650s AD.

Significance of the connection to the east by the westerners: Trade rout of precious raw materials open up. A new economic partner and the unlimited fall of the Arabs by taking away their control of the Mediterranean ports ( See European N. Africa Conquests). Europeans will become aware of the east and their contribution to the renaissance.

Sir John Mandeville had a crazy idea that one could sail to the far east by the way of the artic ocean. This was not feasible because ice would block ships. However, it put the seeds into the minds of Europeans that a different rout to the east could be ascertained when linked to the earth is round theory by the ancients.

West meets east begins with the rediscovery of the east and how to get there. We call this the Age of Discoveries.


1) They Capture the Caliph who was reigning and do not sin against him. They thought he was a sinner, but a holy man. So they didn’t want to Chop his head off. “ How do we kill a Caliph without getting God mad at us,” Mongols said. They rolled him up in a carpets and each soldier took turns shaking the carpet till he dies. [A type of shake and bake.]
2) No more Caliph now, so the Arab Empire breaks up!
3) A new fad arises out of all of this! God is not creating any more victory for the Arabia now that Mongols are the new kids on the block. “How can I get a one-to-one relationship with God,” Arabs said. Well the new fad will be that they turn toward monastic life. The best Arabs put their focus into these things now instead of science and civil-progress. So this discontinuity broke up the Empire. And today most of the Muslims are living in the Dark ages [except for a few rich ones- that can mirror the noble-land owners who treaded the rest of the population like slaves. {Serfs}]
4) Arab final Summery: In a time lost they had achieved a great thing. They preserved and progressed on the knowledge of our [the whole world] world and recovered what the west lost during wars and stupidity. Through the Muslim world each and everyone must give them thanks because they would eventually pass it back to use and we would use it to get out of the hole we dug for ourselves.

1) Early Middle Ages saw only Europe from a western civilization’s point of view and a little of the Middle East. Marco Polo would change all of that! His biographies and speeches recorded and re-told by famous people such as Matthew of Paris. This is just one of many ways Europe including France [The West] are introduced to the east of many new things.
2) Marco Polo spent 12 years in China talking it over with the Mongolian Khans. [Kings] They were just as interested in him as he was wide-eyes about the orient. [Ancient name for east]
3) He brought back news to Europe of what a wonderful place it was. He brought back knowledge of it; printing; paper; gunpowder; spaghetti; Chinese products. How they live in luxury.
The Polo brothers found out that the trek was too far and that trade was impossibly with the Mongolia region itself. Marco Polo got and interview with the Khan and the king gave him an equivalent of a traveling visa to go anywhere in his domain he wanted. Marco Polo documented them brought back what he saw. When he got back to Italy (1290s) and started to tell his friends, they all thought he was lying. He was thrown into jail before another traveler confirmed what he was saying. Other people go to China and far east to check out his story. They confirm him. He becomes famous to us. While he was in jail he was writing his experiences in the Mongol Empire. Marco said that he was impressed with the cities and the amount of people. People think that Marco or one of the others traveling brought back gun powered to Europe. This is not the case. Arabs had taken it to their lands which leaked into the European continent before the Polo brothers found it in Asia. Marco Polo discovers, in Asia, the compass needle and noodles ( Spaghetti). He was dooly impressed by the gold leaf rooftops of the people in Asia and all the wealth they had.
4) The Europeans start to think, “How can we trade with them.” [Just like to day.]
5) 1410 Portugal is a new kingdom on the block. When Prince Henry was born he grew up seeing the men fight the Arabs in the reconquest of Spain. The order of the day was that to be considered a ' real' man you had to put some time into the service of your country expelling the Arabs who had dominated for over 800 years. Even the King had to fight alongside the warriors in this battle. The nobles were not considered even a noble if they didn't go out and fight and earn their manhood. When Henry reach the age of adulthood he could fight. However, there was one small detail that needed to be understood. At that time all the Arabs (called Moors) were kicked out already in the region of Portugal. Therefore he said, " lets fight them in the South of Spain," the only bastion left that the Arabs controlled. But Queen and King of Spain said leave them be. So Henry needed a fight to become a man. He decided to cross the area of the Mediterranean, where the Rock of Gibraltar is, and fight a group of Arabs ( moors) living on N. Africa. He manage to get a leaky-old boat ( it was only a 20 mile passage to the other side) and looted and pillaged a small Arab trading post. He went back home to Portugal a man and lived relaxed, without going back into the battlefield again). Henry said " I did my duty, and now I leave this life." Yet, he realized that riches on the coast of Africa wait there for the plundering ( remember that Arab dominance is in disillusion all over their empire). " Lets go down the African coast and open them trade routs." The Arabs kept the trade routs for themselves, they didn't ever want the world to know about them or control them. So Henry sent people as scouts to the coasts of East Africa and N. Africa cataloguing the wind patterns, climate patterns and the geography patterns. He wanted to make a breakthrough to the east by defeating the Arabs.

Meanwhile in the shipping department, during 1440s, little by little, progress is being made to find a trade rout via the African coast. 1450-60s The Portuguelians setting up trade posts on the coastline of western/north Africa. When the underside of west Africa bends to the middle of the continent the Portuguese think they have discovered the bottom of the continent. By the time that they get to the cape of Africa, Henry dies. However, the people keep going. The significance of Henry is that he makes Portugal the Oceanographic Institute of the western world. It is in Portugal where Columbus is shipwrecked traveling with a company to England, to set up shop, that he starts to sell maps in a shop to make money that he realizes and meets great minds on geographic studies. Here is where he gets to know great sailors and ship commanders.

Portugal starts it all off by exploring the southern Atlantic Ocean of Africa by traveling further than the known ports of North West Africa. They travel to about the middle and see the coast line turning and think they found the path to the Far East. They get to mid-Africa and where it turns thinks it’s the east, but is wrong. Little upset that it just how the land maneuvered they got a little discouraged but eventually made it to the bottom of the cape of Africa in 1450. Along the way everything was not a waste of time and money as explorations were more expensive the further they explored the African cost. They started many trading posts and small settlements along the way. Once they made it finally around to the other side and up the east coast of Africa. About the Middle of Madagascar they stopped and met some Arab merchants who surprised them by pointing out they were still on the continent of Africa. Displeased and distressed, the Arabs assured them the way to the East as they were already trading with the [Mongols] China/India/Japan Islands (Modern usage of names!) This was as early as 1400’s.
6) Prince Henry: Was not a seaman at heart (He never was the explorer himself) to go out to explore. He did take huge interest in collecting maps and explorations. He called all the merchants and seamen to have lengthy discussions about the geography of the world. He ended up financing many of these African coast voyages.
7) His royal family name was Prince Henry! He established a navigational institute. Mostly the Atlantic Coast. Collected info on Atlantic coast and gathered anyone and everything he could get his hands on.
8) He will compile systematic and financing these expeditions. It was a slow and difficult task. But the result was that Europe pushed further then they did ever before.
1486, Bartolomeu Dias, a famous Portuguese navigator of the fifteenth century, discoverer of the Cape of Africa. Names it Cape of Good Hope; died at sea, 29 May, 1500. He immediately turns around to go back to Portugal to tell the leaders. The leaders say " keep it hush-hush." This way they would have a ' clean run' to China and dominate the trade for European consumers. Meanwhile in Genoa, Italy Christopher Columbus, a common man living in a big Italian trading city during the Italian Renaissance, is finishing school. The city was at this point no more a great trading place. Columbus's father was a factory worker, who washed wool, yet earned enough money to sent Columbus to elementary and secondary school. A Genoese Merchant Firm hires Columbus and he gets to travels to places such as Algeria and all over the west coast of Africa. He even gets to go to Azures Island. This is where he gets interested in navigation. The company he went to work for wanted to establish a office in England. So while he was rounding the coast of Portugal (Lisbon) , he was shipwrecked. He started a shop to sell maps to navigationers and became intrigue of the round world. This possibility that one could sail to the east by going west. Sensing the world is round, he sent a letter to a colleague back in Italy. He asked him if it was possible to sail this westward rout to get to Indo-China. Surprised that his esteemed colleague wrote back with a positive reply, saying that he under estimated the length of the travel. His colleague was correct. However, Columbus knew to sell his idea to the kings or financiers he would have to fudge the truth of how long the journey truly was. Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli ( his colleague) was a mathematician and knew of the earth calculations by the ancients of 25,000 miles in circumference. Toscanelli told Columbus " Theoretically it is possible." " It is feasible to sail to China" Columbus said. So he went to find financers. ( See Columbus in depth)
9) So China and far-East are contacted and trading slowly but surely starts. Now on the other side of the world. Columbus makes his dream shot. He moves to Portugal and sets up a map shop. After getting board he hears of expeditions [from before] of a new world that already had been discovered. (Vinland Sagas| others) Francis I King of France is setting up expeditions at this time and will land his countries explorers on coasts of New England and Maine's in America in just a decade.
10) Columbus gets the fame because of his storybook tail and he did bring back a bigger variety of spices and natives.
11) 1492 Off he sails. He calculated 60 days. (You can see he knew others had been there) But he thinks the other side is India country. (The East) It takes him 63-64 days to hit land so he is close to making the right calculations. Though he missed America all together, he manages to land in what we know today as the West Indies Islands. (Central America) He will end up discovering most of South America, while Francis the first is dealing with North America. (Ironic but poetic)
12) He calls the natives Indians. Yes, he thinks he landed all the way around the world in India.
13) Back to Portugal 1496. This is the time they reach the cape of Africa and went around it. They find Arab shippers about Madagascar and found out it was still Africa. More importantly. Arabs said “we know where is India-China-Japan are, we trade with them.” Bingo The New East is born and they come to join together.
14) 1496 The rest of the World is known to Europe. In the Middle Ages they didn’t know.
15) Western Civilization only had been known.

16) Summery: Arabs had talent to see good things and adopt it and bring it into the Arab Empire. And then Europe sees it at the Arab Empire and it’s transferred over to the west.

So Arabs are advanced now the west is on darkness.
17) All this impressiveness last until 1256. Then come the dreaded Mongols! Who will concur most of the known world. From; Poland, East Germany all of Hungary, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Greece, Turkey, China, Northern India, North and South Korea, and the entire Middle Eastern Asia. “Put it this way! They Dominated!”.

Copyright © 2003 Michael Johnathan McDonald







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