When Asia Was the World

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $17.10   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

2007 Hardcover New Condition-We Ship Quickly.

Ships from: Hendersonville, TN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:


Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia’s vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with commerce, international diplomacy, and the brisk exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a fascinating and unique look at Asia from A.D. 700 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by describing the personal journeys of Asia’s many travelers-the merchants who traded spices along the Silk Road, the apothecaries who exchanged medicine and knowledge from China to the Middle East, and the philosophers and holy men who crossed continents to explore and exchange ideas, books, science, and culture.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Documents written by men who lived, worked and traveled to Asia between 500 and 1500 CE portray thriving trading centers from Arabia to China. Gordon (Center for South Asian Studies/Univ. of Michigan) synthesizes elaborate detail from these eight memoirs to convey their historical pertinence to the lay reader. Each of the travelers came into contact with diverse people and made startling cultural discoveries. The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang roamed from the Yellow River to Tashkent and eventually into India, writing about his marvelous adventures during the years 618-632 as he connected with religious groups practicing Taoism and Zoroastrianism. Ibn Fadlan was sent from Baghdad to the Bulgar kingdom near the Volga River in 921; his text enables the author to explain the early dissemination of Islam. Through the autobiography of Neoplatonic philosopher Ibn Sina, we glimpse the intellectual network teeming in Baghdad during the period 1020-1036, when the Abbasid dynasty fostered a range of inventions (the zero, algorithm, astrolabe), translations from Greek and Latin, philosophical inquiry and the use of paper. The travels of Jewish spice trader Abraham bin Yiju between Mangalore, India and Cairo from 1120 to 1160 reveal the period's trust-based business model and the extensive range of trade routes. Imperial Muslim diplomat Ibn Battuta's 14th-century memoir demonstrates that rich questing travelers were the vital mechanism keeping cities like Delhi, Damascus and Mecca in touch. Chinese Muslim Ma Huan's account of expeditions he joined in 1413 and 1421 provides a rare portrait of the Ming imperial fleets. Babur, head of a Mongol army of the steppe, records the movement of maraudinghorse-driven tribes from 1494 to 1526. Portuguese apothecary Tome Pires headed the first diplomatic mission to China in 1517, precipitating the clash between white and Asian civilization. All of the narratives reveal the highly connected interplay of commodities and ideas that enriched Asia. Pared-down, brief vignettes provide an intimate complement to David Levering Lewis's God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (2008).
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306815560
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2007
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stewart Gordon is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, and author of three books on Asia. He lives in Ann Arbor.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction     vii
Monasteries and Monarchs: Xuanzang, 618-632 CE     1
Caliph and Caravan: Ibn Fadlan, 921-922 CE     21
Philosopher and Physician: Ibn Sina, 1002-1021 CE     39
Ingots and Artifacts: The Intan Shipwreck, circa 1000 CE     57
Pepper and Partnerships: Abraham bin Yiju, 1120-1160 CE     75
Nobles and Notables: Ibn Battuta, 1325-1356 CE     97
Treasure and Treaty: Ma Huan, 1413-1431 CE     117
Blood and Salt: Babur, 1494-1526 CE     137
Medicines and Misunderstandings: Tome Pires, 1511-1521 CE     157
The Asian World: 500-1500 CE     177
Notes     193
Suggested Reading     215
Index     223
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    AP World History Review, "When Asia Was the World" is a fantastic collection of historical merchants and scholar¿s writings of Asia telling about the trade and social lives during the years 600 B.C. through 1500 A.D. in the Asian world.

    AP World History Review, "When Asia Was the World" is a great historical non-fiction book that tells about the history of Asia's trade and people from the early 7th century all the way to the late 16th century.
    In this book Stewart Gordon, the author, tells the history of Asia through the eyes of traders that lived in this time. He explains what the time period was like with the use of the merchant’s self-documentaries and their books. Gordon explains the changes that occurred within society such as the change of leading merchants, the laws and customs that existed on the trade routes, and social lives throughout Asia.
    Stewart Gordon throughout this novel does a good job at getting the information he wants people to understand from the time period across. I found that the book was very insightful and helped me understand what was going on in Asia during this time period. This book taught me about the life of the merchants, customs that were practiced, and how Asia was truly linked together for so long.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    AP World History Review, " When Asia Was the World" is

    AP World History Review, " When Asia Was the World" is book about traveling merchants, scholars, warriors and monks that create the " Riches of the East". 
    The author, Stewart Gordon, provides information on how merchants, scholars, warriors and monks help create Asia as the center of attention during the European Middle ages. He brings the world of exchanges and travel by telling us the stories of explorers and travelers. Gordon writes this book to show people the popular history from 618 CE to 1500 CE , he wants this book to reach out to people so they can learn about Asia's importance during the time. I found this book very interesting because it helps me understand what was happening in Asia during the time period. This book divides the time period in sections so, it can help you understand better. I would recommend to others because this book talks about the roles of the people and the influence of the roles in Asia.
    In conclusion, the author wrote this book because he is a research scholar for South Asian studies. He has also traveled to Asia and lived the life in Asia. Some of the figures he talks about in the book is Ibn Sina, Ma Huan and Ibn Batutta. Ibn Sina is a philosopher and a physician. Ma Huan is a treasure and a low-level official. Lastly, Ibn Batutta is a famous traveler that travels across Asia. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)