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India

Subject: History

The world's largest democracy has a rich and diverse culture. Now, it is also achieving more rapid economic growth India's vast territory can be divided into three main regions ...

India

India   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
529 words

...in India. Trade with India, testified to by Kosmas Indikopleustes , took four routes: via the Euphrates and Persian Gulf to Taprobana ( Ceylon ); via the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean; by overland caravan routes via Persia; and by caravan travel north of the Caspian Sea and across Central Asia. The primary exports from India were spices, incense, and probably precious stones: “the wealth of India,” according to the Vita Basilii , decorated the chapel of St. Clement in the Great Palace. Kosmas provides some factual information about India, but from...

India

India   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
491 words

... For the Greeks, India was at the eastern extremity of the earth. According to Herodotus, Asia was inhabited only as far as India, beyond which were unknown deserts; in reaching the Indus, Alexander arrived at one of the ends of the world. This doubtless explains why, ever since Ctesias's Indica (5th c. BC), India has been the land of all marvels with fabulous plants and animals and monstrous men like the famous Cynocephali. These old traditions, brought together in the works of Pliny and Solinus, were known from the early Middle Ages . Basic texts, like...

India

India   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
516 words
Illustration(s):
1

... [Arabic, al-Hind ] The earliest Arab incursions into India were in Sind in the early 8th century. Under the early *Abbasids , mainly through the patronage of the Barmakid family, Indian sciences were translated from Sanskrit into Arabic. The rise of the *Ghaznavid dynasty facilitated major incursions into India , lasting some two centuries. It was with the Ghaznavid sultan Mahmud (r. 998–1030 ) that the incursions penetrated as far as western India , into southern Kashmir, and even to Benares. However, since there were no permanent occupations of...

Barlaam and Josaphat’s saga

Barlaam and Josaphat’s saga   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
97 words

...and Josaphat’s saga A Christian adaptation of legends of the life of Buddha. The *hermit Barlaam converts Josaphat, the son of the king of *India , to Christianity with learned conversations and parables. The tale has been attributed to *John of Damascus ( 675–749 ), but it probably dates back to the 6th century. It was translated into Greek and from Greek into Latin in the 11th century. From Latin it was translated into most European vernaculars, and became very popular in the MA. Magnus Rindal Historia animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph , ed. R....

Biruni, Abul-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-

Biruni, Abul-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al- (973–1048)   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
254 words

...prayer. Biruni ’s work on mathematical geography, the Tahdid al-Amakin , also takes inspiration from Muslim ritual by determining the qibla (the direction of *Mecca ) and generalizing from it to many geodetic problems. Other contributions include a comprehensive study of India’s religion, philosophy, and culture; a catalogue of about 720 medicinal drugs; a chronology of ancient nations; and a scientific study of eighteen precious stones and metals. Although Biruni was not as well known in the west as some others, his scientific work was at the highest...

Orderic of Pordenone

Orderic of Pordenone (1286–1331)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
157 words

...of Pordenone ) ( 1286–1331 ) A Franciscan missionary . Born in Friuli, he set out for the East, and has been credited with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land . John XXII charged him with a legation to mission territory in c. 1318 : via Trebizond and Tabriz, he reached India . At Quilon he gathered up the relics of the Franciscans martyred at Thana and took them by sea to Zayton in China , where he entrusted them to the Franciscans. He stayed at Khanbaliq and returned through central Asia. In 1330 , at the request of his provincial minister, he...

BĪRŪNĪ, AL-

BĪRŪNĪ, AL- (973)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
650 words
Illustration(s):
1

...important are the Chronology of the ancient peoples , dealing with calendars and eras, meteorology and astronomy (Eng. tr. E. Sachau , London, 1879 ), the Description of India (Eng. tr. E. Sachau , London, 1888 ) in which he presents the philosophical and cosmological theories of Hinduism and which he prepared while accompanying Mahmūd on his expeditions to northern India , and finally his great Encyclopedia of astronomy Al-Kānūn al-Mas'ūdī , dedicated, as its name indicates, to the second Ghaznavid ruler Mas'ūd . He composed many other...

Ghaznavids

Ghaznavids   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
209 words

...of ancient Persia and the first masterpiece of Persian literature. The palaces and mosques the Ghaznavids built there, as well as at Lashkar-i Bāzār, have been the object of important excavations. The Ghaznavids made themselves famous particularly by the conquest of northern India carried out by Mahmūd ( 999–1030 ). But they came up against the power of the Seljuks , to whom they had to abandon Iran after the defeat of 1040 , as well as the rivalry of the Ghorids, who sacked Ghazni in 1150 and took possession of the Ghaznavid territories in 1187...

Ḥallāj, al-

Ḥallāj, al-   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
184 words

...of Tustar, before receiving at Bassora the “rags”, khirqa , symbol of initiation. In contrast to the Sufis of that time, al-Ḥallāj seems to have chosen public expression. At first he preached on the spot, before making several pilgrimages and long journeys to Iran , even to India . His very extrovert Sufism attracted large audiences, but got him accused of charlatanry. Certain paradoxical aphorisms ("I am Truth", i.e. God ) made him suspect of “incarnationism”, Ḥulūl . He was imprisoned for nine years. A victim of court intrigues, finally he was...

auto da fé

auto da fé   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
210 words
Illustration(s):
1

...died were burnt in effigy. Nonetheless, artistic depictions focus on scenes of torture and burning. The first auto da fé took place in *Seville in 1481 ; others were also carried out in regions under Spanish rule including Portugal, *Italy , Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Goa, *India . ‘Burning of the Heretics’ (auto da fé) by Pedro Berruguete, c .1500. Prado Museum, Madrid. Prado, Madrid, Spain/The Bridgeman Art Library Michelle M. Herder H. Kamen , The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision (1997). H. C. Lea , A History of the Inquisition in Spain ,...

Benjamin of Tudela

Benjamin of Tudela (1160–75)   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
212 words

...for medieval cities and Jewish communities. A native of Tudela (Spain), Benjamin set out c .1160 on an almost fifteen-year journey taking him to over 300 cities including *Rome , *Constantinople , *Jerusalem , and *Baghdad . Though he also claimed to have visited *India and China, scholars generally concur that he turned around upon reaching Baghdad. For each locale, Benjamin provided details regarding local customs, history, economic conditions, and *geography , as well as descriptions of the local Jewish population. Unusual for his epoch, ...

Mongol empire

Mongol empire   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
492 words

...Turkestan, and Timur's descendants ended by founding a “Mogul” empire in India. Other descendants of Ghengis Khān maintained themselves in Crimea until the 18th c., in Siberia, etc.; but China had freed itself from them in 1368 and forced them back onto the steppe. After the frightful massacres that had accompanied the conquests, the Empire was provided with a structure that ensured unaccustomed security; merchants from the West and the Near East could frequent the routes to India and China ; missionaries too. The tolerance of the first...

Chaldeans

Chaldeans   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
481 words

...the faithful: a church where he had preached against Nestorius was purified with rosewater. The Preaching of Latin missionaries , e.g. in Persia or in China , had created an awareness of the dogmatic and ritual differences between the two Churches, while elsewhere (in India , in Cyprus ) these same Nestorians made no difficulties about accepting the help brought to them by Latin religious or practising an intercommunion that failed in other places, where the Chaldeans who rallied to Rome separated from their Church. At the council of Florence , ...

Marco Polo

Marco Polo (1254–1324)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
555 words

... 1271 , furnished with letters from the pope and accompanied by the young Marco. They arrived at the Mongol court in 1275 . The Khan, interested by his knowledge of languages, engaged him in his service, entrusting him with important Missions in the Mongol Empire and to India . At the end of sixteen years, in 1291 , the Venetians took the return route by sea, escorting a Mongol princess intended for Arghun, Khan of Persia. They reached Venice in 1295 . Captured during a naval battle between Venice and Genoa and imprisoned, Marco Polo is supposed...

Prester John

Prester John   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
522 words

.... Throughout the 13th c., travellers sought to identify this “king of the Indies”, a Christian king, now beaten by the Mongols, now bearing up against them, whose kingdom, sometimes identified with the land from which the Three Kings came, was situated either near China or in India . All this reflected the reality of a Christendom of Nestorian rite that had its kings before the Mongol conquest and whose existence the West discovered thanks to that conquest. In the 14th c., some continued to situate this kingdom in Asia, but with Jordan of Severac it...

Assassins (Hashishin), sect of

Assassins (Hashishin), sect of   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
391 words

...fortress together with its subsidiary castles in Persia. After the capture of Masjad in 1260 by the Mongols, the Mamluk *Baybars in 1272 dealt the Syrian Assassins the final blow. Since then the Assassins were scattered through northern Syria, Persia, Oman, Zanzibar, and *India . They acknowledge as titular head the Aga Khan, who claims descent through the last grand master of Alamut from Isma’il, the seventh imam. Muhammad Ashraf Ebrahim Dockrat B. Lewis , The Assassins ...

Constantine The African

Constantine The African   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
487 words

...biography of Constantine the African. According to Peter the Deacon , monk and librarian at the abbey of Monte Cassino from 1110 to 1153 , he was born at Carthage and made distant journeys in his youth, to train himself in various disciplines, including medicine : Cairo , India , Ethiopia . Returning to his own country, he aroused jealousy by his knowledge, had to flee and thus arrived in southern Italy . According to other evidence, about a century later, Constantine was a Muslim Merchant . Through commercial exchanges, he had ascertained that...

discoveries

discoveries   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
498 words

...the impulse of the infante Henry the Navigator († 1460 ) and then of King John II , annual expeditions went beyond Cape Bojador ( 1434 ), Senegal and Cape Verde ( 1444 ), and finally the equator ( 1471 ). The attempt to encircle Islam subsequently led to the reaching of India in two steps: Bartholomew Diaz doubled the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 , and Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in 1498 , establishing the foundations of the Lusitanian empire. The voyages of Columbus began in the enthusiasm of the completion of the Reconquest and, at least...

Pahlavi

Pahlavi   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
452 words

...minority religion under Islam , subject to the temptation to fall back on itself and form ghettos. Indeed, the status of second-class dhimmi imposed by Islam obliged the Zoroastrians to leave Iran , where they had once represented the dominant religion, and settle in western India , where they still form the most numerous community of this ancient religion. They took their manuscripts with them and it was there that European scholars, from the 18th c., gained access to the knowledge of Pahlavi texts. The script in which they are written down is a real...

spices

spices   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
512 words
Illustration(s):
1

...perfumery (amber, musk …) or craftsmanship (cotton, mastic, pitch …) prevail in number over the condiments found in the classic list of great oriental spices: pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, among others. Only the latter were the object of a great trade that went from China, India and Indonesia to the Mediterranean, through the intermediary of Hindu, Arab and then Western merchants . But the Far East was not the sole provider of spices: Persia and Central Asia, the Near East and Egypt, Africa and above all the coastal regions of the Mediterranean were...

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