50

Europeans had an incentive to explore the Atlantic because they were dependent on the trade routes which pass through Arab territory. The Arabs and other peoples living in the Middle East made a lot of profit selling luxury goods to Europeans, so cutting out the middle man was very desirable. The Atlantic has currents that make it easier to traverse. Note ...


22

Mentions of Bandits and robbers: Bandits and robbers were a constant threat on the Silk Road. Xuanzang mentions several encounters with bandits. Near Dunhuang, the Silk Road split in two to skirt the rim of the Taklamakan Desert. The roads met again 1400 miles west at Kashgar. But between these two oases lay the Silk Road's most dangerous terrain. ...


22

The claim is sourced from 明興野記, lit. Unofficial Records of the Rise of Ming, by the contemporary Yu Ben. It was originally titled 紀事錄, lit. Chronicles, but a certain Zhang Da Tong later changed it because it wasn't fancy enough. Zhang also inserted some editorialising, especially to defend the emperor, as well as an abstract introducing Yu's work as "...


22

China was a single state. If the emperor decide to stop long distance sea voyages (as did the Hongxi Emperor) they would stop. Europe had the advantage of being split in many states. The ruler of one of these states could not prevent other states from engaging in such voyages. This idea is developed in Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of ...


16

It's the same reason why Europe was more religiously tolerant in Roman times (except to Christians). Namely, a lack of religious exclusiveness in their native beliefs. When Buddhism was transmitted to Japan, for example, the local population have no trouble reconciling Buddhist doctrines with their native Shintoism. The Shinto kami were integrated into ...


16

The chronicles Beishi 北史 "History of the North" and Nanshi 南史 "History of the South" have at least some of what you are looking for. The Nanshi chronicle mentions frost and snow. This is cited in Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World by David Keys: In July 537 China was hit by frost, while in August it snowed. The History ...


14

This is still a mystery. It was probably a combination of several factors, though. The government's focus shifted. Coincidentally or not, after 1433 the Oirat Mongols emerged as a serious threat. Their chieftain, Toγan, united Mongolia under the figurehead Taisun Khan in 1434. Oirat power grew further under his son, Esen. He incorporated neighbouring tribes,...


13

I suggest that the reason was the Mediterranean. European civilizations had lots of places to sail to that could be reached, profitably, with fairly primitive technology. Starting with the Illiad & Odyssey, the Athenian's wooden walls, the Phoenicians, Roman grain ships, &c, then working up to the trade empires of Venice & Genoa. That could ...


13

I think we first have to ask what we mean when we say that the Europeans “dominate[d] oceans.” You describe this as something that “becomes more obvious after the fifteenth century,” when Europe began colonizing and conquering. However, Europeans did not in any sense dominate the Pacific at this time; the Polynesians colonized New Zealand about two ...


12

There are no specific rules, it is completely up to the founders. Many dynasties ultimately took their names from one of the ancient states of China. In any case, usually the actual choice were made in one of six ways: Reviving an Ancient Name: the dynasty began where an ancient state existed, and took its name from its ancient predecessor. Examples include ...


11

Complex and disputed social, economical and cultural reasons With decent technology and a brave and enterpreneurish heart anyone can be a sea explorer. Leif Erikson from Iceland reached America, Zang He explored the Indian Ocean with chinese ships superior to their european counterparts. Pytheas circumnavigated Britannia in the classical antiquity... I ...


10

Chinese eunuchs were the personal servants of the emperor and his household; being close and having the ear of the emperor gives you power. An eunuch could help you by putting in a good word; eunuchs that are particularly well trusted could abuse that trust by manipulating what the emperor hears, withholding some information or twisting others. I think this ...


10

Under the Yuan Dynasty, although the Mongols were the most privileged group politically, they were not the dominant group demographically. In fact, Mongols were an extremely tiny minority in Yuan China. It's essentially impossible for <1% of the population to assimilate the rest - they're way more likely to be assimilated into the majority. As such, it ...


9

The portions of the wall in your photos were rebuilt for tourism after 1970 or so. Looking at reconstructed wall is not a good method for determining the original design. You'd have to look at how the wall was originally build. Here is a photo I took of some un-restored wall in Beijing in 2012. Most of the wall in this photo is in relatively good condition....


9

The main descriptions of the abnormal weather is found as mentioned in the other answers from the 北史/南史 beishi/nanshi which mentions snow in September and August respectively. As for the highlighted quote I've managed to track it down to a passage in the 资治通鉴第一百五十七卷 Zizhi Tongjian 157th Juan (13th chapter in the Liang Dynasty sections). The original texts ...


8

Yes. Under the Yuan Empire, Hainan Island was administered as part of the Huguang Province. The Mongolians took the island when they conquered the Song Dynasty. Partial Chinese rule stretches back to the Han Dynasty, though native revolts forced the imperial administration off the island. More permanent control was established during the Southern and ...


7

In theory, not very. The most infamous of the late Ming taxes were what's the known as the Three Payments (三餉), so named because they were instituted to fund payments fo the army. From contemporary and Qing era history works such as the Veritable Records of Ming and the History of Ming, we know these were: 遼餉 (Liao Pay) - fund the defence of Liaodong ...


7

Not sure if anyone will read this, but... From Baidu (https://baike.baidu.com/item/连环计/5842#ref_[2]_5340118): 1.毕再遇连环计 “Bi Zaiyu Uses Chain Stratagems” 宋代将领毕再遇就曾经运用连环计,打过漂亮的仗。他分析金人强悍,骑兵尤其勇猛,如果对面交战往往造成重大伤亡。 “The Song Dynasty general Bi Zaiyu once used a Chain Stratagem to fight a flawless battle. He realized that the Jins were fierce, especially ...


6

I can't answer when the term was first used but I can take a guess on why it was called that. Arab sailors sailing the spice routes would have been dependent on the winds. Crossing the Indian Ocean, they would have experienced the prevailing winds, known as trade winds, blowing from the North East. So from the point of view of these Arab sailors, "the ...


6

Apparently, Europe was exposed to gunpowder prior to Marco Polo: the Wikipedia page references several sources speaking of Mongol usage of gunpowder at the Battle of Mohi (Hungary) in 1241; Marco Polo was not even born at that time. This page ends with the following rather assertive sentence: There is, however, no truth in the tradition that he brought ...


6

My professional historian girlfriend points out that the question ignores the worldwide Arab traders who dominated ocean traffic, or the Phonecians. I'd add that my understanding is that much of Oceania was settled by Chinese. I think OP's thesis stated more strongly than evidence supports. I'm grateful to @curiousdanni for the correction: "I'd add that ...


6

I would like to conglomerate some of the supposed events here, as given from the primary historical sources from 《北史》 (History of the Northern Dynasties) and 《南史》 (History of the Southern Dynasties). The date conversions given in the footnotes are based on the website 兩千年中西曆轉換. All translations given are my own. 《北史》 (History of the Northern Dynasties) ...


5

Google found a book that seems to indicate that fragment of the wall has been built after peace with Mongols has been achieved, therefore, implies the battlements probably had a decorative or propagandistic purpose. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BFlOQRpOiEcC&lpg=PT132&ots=vcYjxyjr6a&dq=great%20wall%20of%20china%20battlements%20both%20sides&...


5

European merchants were state backed A recurring theme in Chinese history is the tension between merchants and mandarins. Merchants make money and bring wealth to China. The mandarins were members of the civil service who studied Confucian doctrine and were naturally wary of merchants. Of course, there were plenty if cleric-ish types in Europe, as well. ...


5

This is the supplementary answer to that of drooze ( I think he finally hit the direct answer. ) As he said, according to this site( Japanese ), Nanshi records multiple quite unusual events occurred in Liang Dynasty ( English ). Quote ( from the above Japanese source ) 534年閏12月丙午、西南方で雷鳴が二度、響いた。 In the intercalary December, 534AD, we heard the ...


4

The Oracle Bones from the Shang Dynasty discovered in 1899 are still revealing plenty of new information and would be considered the earliest primary source of historical information on the Chinese culture. A terrific podcast on Chinese history is called The China History Podcast by Laslo Montgomery http://chinahistorypodcast.com/


4

The word jūn (軍) literally just means "army". Theoretically, these were military districts placed in strategic areas of high military importance, commonly the frontiers. In this sense, they would have been a bit like the marches of Europe, responsible for coordinating regional defenses. Early military prefectures typically inherited that designation from the ...


4

There are several examples I can think of, but I admit they are all of a very mild sinification. 19th Century California - There was a large influx of Chinese immigrants, whose culture has permeated into the American. The several large China-town districts in San Francisco and other towns (even New York) are a good indicator, as well as the prevalence and ...


4

The place that springs to mind is Singapore. While physically being an island on the southern tip of the Malay peninsula, all but about a quarter of the population is ethnically Chinese. This majority wasn't achieved until the mid 1800's, likely owing to the same factors that caused an influx of Chinese into the USA at around the same time.


4

Before I begin to answer your question a little information is required to set the appropriate background of discussion. In 1259 the Koreans, the Goreyo at the time, capitulated to the Mongolian forces and signed a treaty making Korea a vassel of the Mongol horde than led by Möngke Khan. Subsequently in 1260 Kublai Khan comes to power inheriting his fathers ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible