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The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began

The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began

Lecture by Valerie Hansen

Given online by the Asia Global Institute on February 25, 2021

Abstract: A new system of global pathways formed in the year 1000 AD following the Vikings’ arrival in northeastern Canada. Trade goods, people, and ideas moved along these newly discovered routes. The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World―and Globalization Began, written by Yale historian Valerie Hansen, tells the story of the most surprising journeys around the year 1000 took place when speakers of Malayic languages departed from the Malay peninsula and arrived on the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa some 4000 miles away. The shipping route from the port of Basra in the Middle East to Guangzhou, China via India and Southeast Asia was the longest maritime pathway in regular use before 1492. Stretching some 8000 miles long, it was nearly twice as long as the distance Columbus covered (4400 miles) when he crossed the Atlantic.

In this Quantitative History Webinar, Valerie Hansen will take us back to the year 1000 and discuss how globalization began. For the first time in world history an object or a message could travel all the way around the world. Europeans did not invent globalization. They changed and augmented what had been there since 1000. If globalization had not yet begun in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, Europeans would not have been able to penetrate the markets in so many places as quickly as they did after 1492.

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Valerie Hansen teaches Chinese and world history at Yale, where she is a professor of history. Click here to view her website or follow Valerie on Twitter @VHansenYear1000

See also The Medieval Podcast episode with Valerie Hansen

Top Image: Al-Idrisi’s world map

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