Period 3
Regional and Transregional Interactions
c. 600 C.E. to c. 1450
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will find some extra textbook pages to help you study for the Unit 3 part 1 Test
Corresponding Crash Course Videos Can Be Found At The Bottom


All information found below is for your benefit. Every item corresponds with the Key Concepts

Unit 3: Major Developments Quick Summary Outline Notes

Unit 3b: The Mongols Outline Notes

Unit 3b: The Effects of Mongols on Trade Summary Notes

Key Concept Handout - What you need to know for Unit 3:

Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks

I. Improved transportation technologies and commercial practices led to an increased volume of trade, and expanded the geographical range of existing and newly active trade networks.
A. Existing trade routes, including:

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Silk Roads
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The Silk Roads continued to focus on luxury items such as silk and other items whose weight to value ratio was low. In the post-classical age, however, the Silk Roads diffused important technologies such as paper-making and gunpowder. Continuing a phenomenon from the classical age, they would also spread disease; the Black Death would spread from Asia to Western Europe along Silk Road and maritime routes eventually killing about one third of the people there. Despite these continuities, the Silk Road network would be transformed by cultural, technological and political developments. By 600 C.E., the classical empires of China, India and Rome had all crashed. Silk Road trade declined with them. The rise of the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate would invigorate trade along the Silk Roads once again. Sharia law, which gave protection to merchants, was established across the Dar al-Islam. Indian, Armenian, Christian and Jewish merchants alike took advantage of Muslim legal protection.[2] Courts and Islamic jurists called qadis presided over legal and trade disputes. All of this enabled trade by decreasing the risks associated with commerce. A more important boost to Silk Road trade in this era was the rise of the Mongol Empire. The Mongols defeated the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258 and the vast Pax Mongolica soon placed the majority of the Silk Roads under one administrative empire. Merchants were more likely to experience safe travel.[3] The Mongol code of law, known as the Yassa, imposed strict punishments on those disturbing trade.[4] The rule of the Mongols in central Asia coincided with the peak of Silk Road trade between 600 and 1450 C.E..

The Mediterranean Sea


In the previous period (600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.) the Mediterranean saw its heyday of trade under the territorial height of the Roman Empire. Like the Silk Road trade, this network declined when Rome weakened. However, the rapid spread of Islam across north Africa and the continuation of Roman civilization in the Byzantine Empire would revive trade in the post-classical age. As with all networks in this era, the religion of Islam had a positive impact on trade. Sharia law, the establishing of qadis and courts, along with the high regard with which Islam holds merchants (Muhammad was a merchant) all led to an increase of commercial activity where Islam had a significant presence. The Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria, now under Muslim rule, became powerful commercial centers of the Mediterranean network. Muslim and Jews established trading firms in Cairo which benefited from the lucrative trade in silk yarn and cotton textiles.[5] Into the Mediterranean flowed precious gems and perfumes from India, along with the long standing trade items of olive oil and glassware. Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, became an important hub of trade owing to its location between Europe and Asia. A major portion of the Silk Roads ended on the Black Sea, where goods would be loaded onto ships and carried through the Bosporus into the Mediterranean. The city's control of trade provoked the jealousy of the merchants of Venice, a powerful commercial city-state that thrived on the Italian peninsula at this time. Venetian merchants helped steer the Fourth Crusade toward Constantinople in order to gain a larger share of this trade.


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The Trans-Saharan trade routes that formed in the classical age grew enormously in the period from 600 to 1450 C.E. Here again, Islam played a primary role in this increase. During the Umayyad Caliphate Islam came to north Africa and reinvigorated trade. Caravan crossings of the Sahara desert increased the trade in gold, salt, ivory and slaves. Along these same routes, Islam spread to sub-Saharan portions of west Africa. For the first time, empires emerged under the Sarah desert, in large part because Islam brought the means to empower local kings and provide a point of unity. Mansa Musa's famous and extravagant pilgrimage to Mecca gave his kingdom of Mali wide recognition across the Dar al-Islam and served to increase trade connections across the Sahara.

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The Indian Ocean Route
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The Indian Ocean Trade was an important combination of trade routes ranging from East Africa through
most of Asia, which lasted from 600 A.D. to 1450 A.D. The trade mostly revolved around Asian luxuries such as silk
and porcelain. The economic benefits from the trade helped create new kingdoms and strengthen old kingdoms in
East Africa. The trade also changed many social aspects of the kingdoms involved, including the creation of
diasporic communities and the specialization of labor. Culturally, many foreign ideas were sprScreen shot 2015-11-26 at 12.29.48 PM.pngead by merchants,
both religious and scientific. Finally, the Indian Ocean Trade marked a new understanding of maritime travel.

The efficiency and volume of trade in the Indian Ocean was also facilitated by the introduction of new maritime technologies. The Chinese introduced the compass and massive trading ships called Junks which were able to carry larger cargoes. The Arabs popularized the Dhow ship which was able to tack against the wind because of its advanced lateen sail. Finally, an instrument called the astrolabe allowed skilled sailors to determine their latitude at sea. All of these advancements increased participation, facilitated navigation, and removed some of the risks of maritime trade.
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Trade flourished and promoted the growth of powerful new trading cities such as:
- Novgorod
- Timbuktu
- Swahili city-states
- Hangzhou
- Calicut
- Baghdad
- Melaka
- Venice
- Americas
- Tenochtitlan
- Cahokia
Short summary about the role of these required examples of cities in the Post-Classical Era!

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Important Trade Cities to Know
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B. The growth of interregional trade in luxury goods (such as silk and cotton textiles, porcelain, spices, precious metals and gems, slaves or exotic animals) was encouraged by significant innovations in previously existing transportation and commercial technologies, including more sophisticated caravan organization such as:
(Astrolabe) see picture below! Screen shot 2015-11-09 at 9.57.31 PM.png (pic 1) Pic 2:
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Pic: 3 (below)
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Pic: #4 (above) Pic 5 Pic 6
Camel Saddles (See pic #3 above)
The compass (See pics #4-6 above)
The Astrolabe (See pic #1 above)
Caravanserai (see pic #2 above)
Larger ship designs in sea travel
New forms of credit and monetization (such as bills of exchange, credit, checks or banking houses).

C. Commercial growth was also facilitated by new state practices such as:
* The minting of coins or use of paper money

* New trading organizations (such as the Hanseatic League)


* New state-sponsored commercial infrastructures like the Grand Canal in China (see pic below)
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D. The expansion of existing empires facilitated Trans-Eurasian trade and communication as new peoples were drawn into their conquerors' economic and trade networks. Required examples include
- China
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- The Byzantine Empire
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- The Islamic Caliphates

- The Mongols (animated map of rise and fall of the empire)

- Early African Civilizations

Quick Summary: Kingdoms of West Africa

- Medieval Japan

- Medieval Europe
FuedalismScreen shot 2015-11-15 at 7.08.58 PM.png

II. The movement of peoples caused environmental and linguistic effects.
A. The expansion and intensification of long-distance trade routes often depended on peoples’ understanding of a particular regional environment and their subsequent technological adaptations to them such as:
- the way Scandinavian Vikings used their longships to travel in coastal and open waters as well as in rivers and estuaries


In the 8th century, Scandinavians known as Vikings began to leave their home. The Viking practice of dividing land inheritances among all male heirs progressively diminished each family's holding of an already limited amount of arable land. Consequently, they began to raid, pillage, and eventually settle elsewhere. The migrations of the Norsemen, as they were called, was made possible by a remarkable vessel, the Viking Longship. Its nearly forty foot wide sail could catch the North Sea's winds and drive it with great speed. In the absence of wind the boats could be propelled by oars. They were seaworthy enough for trans-Atlantic crossings but small enough to maneuver in shallow rivers. In the last half of the 9th century the Vikings crossed the North Sea, navigated the Seine River and sacked Paris 3 times. They burned it the third time, and pillaged Tours 7 times. The Longship was light enough to be carried by its crew across a land-bridge and, unlike larger ships, could be run ashore thus alleviating the need for secondary landing crafts during a raid. Despite their plundering and destroying, the movement of the Vikings had an impact on commerce. Their expansion connected several regional trading zones in Eurasia by linking Byzantine, Islamic, Northern European, and Central Asian routes via the Russians. The geographic reach given to the Vikings by their longships intensified trade.

- the way the Arabs and Berbers adapted camels to travel across and around the Sahara
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In the heat of a desert, a camel's body will rise up to six degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the loss of water through perspiration. Additionally, the kidneys of a camel concentrate urine to extract as much water as possible. A camel can drink up to fifty gallons of water at a time and easily endure days--sometimes weeks--without water. They have the capacity to close their nostrils, giving them protection from desert sandstorms. The Persians first introduced the camel to Egypt, but it did not thrive well in the fertile Nile valley. It was the Berber tribes of North Africa who made the most of this imported animal. Camels allowed the Berbers to organize regular caravan crossings of the Sahara Desert. These crossings had occurred for centuries but they were sporadic and periodic. Using camels and taking advantage of oasis stops, Berbers and Arabs created a systematic network for caravans across the Sahara.

- the way Central Asian pastoral groups used horses to travel in the steppes).


B. Some migrations had a significant environmental impact, including the migration of the agricultural Bantu-speaking peoples in forested regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, and the maritime migrations of the Polynesian peoples who cultivated transplanted foods and domesticated animals as they moved to new islands.
C. Some migrations and commercial contacts led to the diffusion of languages throughout a new region or the emergence of new languages (for example, the spread of: - Bantu languages - The Spread of Turkic and Arabic Language
- the new language of Swahili that developed in East African coastal areas

III. Cross-cultural exchanges were fostered by the intensification of existing, or the creation of new, networks of trade and communication.
A. Islam expanded from the Arabian Peninsula to many parts of Afro-Eurasia due to military expansion and the activities of merchants and missionaries.
B. In key places along important trade routes, merchants set up diasporic communities where they introduced their own cultural traditions into the indigenous culture such as:
- Muslim merchant communities in the Indian Ocean region
- Chinese merchant communities in Southeast Asia
- Sogdian merchant communities throughout Central Asia or Jewish communities in the Mediterranean
- Indian Ocean basin
- Along the Silk Roads
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C. The writings of certain interregional travelers such as:
Ibn Battuta
Marco Polo
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and illustrate both the extent and the limitations of intercultural knowledge and understanding.
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D. Increased cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of literary, artistic and cultural traditions such as:
the influence of Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism in East Asia,
- Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia,
Angkor Wat, Cambodia (Above)– elements of Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia
Was mostly Hindu and Buddhist due to diffusion from early merchants and missionaries

- Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia
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- Toltec/Mexica and Inca traditions in Mesoamerica and Andean America

E. Increased cross-cultural interactions also resulted in the diffusion of scientific and technological traditions such as: the influence of Greek and Indian mathematics on Muslim scholars
the return of Greek science and philosophy to Western Europe via Muslim al-Andalus in Iberia or the spread of printing and gunpowder technologies from East Asia into the Islamic empires and Western Europe

IV. There was continued diffusion of crops and pathogens throughout the Eastern Hemisphere along the trade routes.
A. New foods were adopted in populated areas such as: bananas in Africa
new rice varieties in East Asia or
the Muslim Agricultural Revolution

B. The spread of epidemic diseases, including the Black Death, followed the well established paths of trade and military conquest.

Key Concept 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions

I. Empires collapsed and were reconstituted; in some regions new state forms emerged.
A. Following the collapse of empires, most reconstituted governments, including the Byzantine Empire and the Chinese dynasties — Sui, Tang and Song — combined traditional sources of power and legitimacy such as:
patriarchy (religion or land-owning elites) with innovations better suited to the current circumstances such as
new methods of taxation
tributary systems
adaptation of religious institutions

B. In some places, new forms of governance emerged, including those developed in various Islamic states (such as
- The Abbasids Click here to read a quick summary of their form of governance
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- the Muslim Iberia (Spain)
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- Delhi Sultanates Click here for a quick summary
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- the Mongol Khanates and city-states (such as in the Italian peninsula, East Africa or Southeast Asia).

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Quick Reading on Genghis Khan

C. Some states synthesized local and borrowed traditions (such as Persian traditions that influenced Islamic states or Chinese traditions that influenced Japan).
D. In the Americas, as in Afro-Eurasia, state systems expanded in scope and reach: Networks of city-states flourished in the Maya region and, at the end of this period, imperial systems were created by the Mexica (“Aztecs”) and Inca.

II. Interregional contacts and conflicts between states and empires encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers, for example between Tang China and the Abbasids, across the Mongol empires and during the Crusades.

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Key Concept 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences

I. Innovations stimulated agricultural and industrial production in many regions.
A. Agricultural production increased significantly due to technological innovations (such as Champa rice varieties, the chinampa field systems, waru waru agricultural techniques in the Andean areas, improved terracing techniques or the horse collar).
B. In response to increasing demand in Afro-Eurasia for foreign luxury goods, crops (such as sugar or citrus) were transported from their indigenous homelands to equivalent climates in other regions.
C. Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants also expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export; industrial production of iron and steel expanded in China.

II. The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline, and with periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
A. Factors that contributed to declines of urban areas in this period included invasions, disease, the decline of agricultural productivity and the Little Ice Age.
B. Factors that contributed to urban revival included the end of invasions, the availability of safe and reliable transport, the rise of commerce and the warmer temperatures between 800 and 1300. Increased agricultural productivity and subsequent rising population and greater availability of labor also contributed to urban growth.
C. While cities in general continued to play the roles they had played in the past as governmental, religious and commercial centers, many older cities declined at the same time that numerous new cities took on these established roles.
NOTE: Students should be able to explain the cultural, religious, commercial and governmental function of at least two major cities.

III. Despite significant continuities in social structures and in methods of production, there were also some important changes in labor management and in the effect of religious conversion on gender relations and family life.
A. As in the previous period, the main forms of labor organization included free peasant agriculture, nomadic pastoralism, craft production and guild organization, along with various forms of coerced and unfree labor and government-imposed labor taxes and military obligations.
B. As in the previous period, social structures were shaped largely by class and caste hierarchies. Patriarchy persisted; however, in some areas, women exercised more power and influence, most notably among the Mongols and in West Africa, Japan and Southeast Asia.
C. New forms of coerced labor appeared, including serfdom in Europe and Japan and the elaboration of the mit’a in the Inca Empire. Free peasants resisted attempts to raise dues and taxes by staging revolts (such as in China or the Byzantine Empire). The demand for slaves for both military and domestic purposes increased, particularly in central Eurasia, parts of Africa and the eastern Mediterranean.
D. The diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Neo-Confucianism often led to significant changes in gender relations and family structure

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Corresponding Crash Course Videos for Unit 3 Part 1
Crash Course: Silk Roads and Trade
Crash Course: Indian Ocean Commerce
Crash Course: Mansa Musa and Islam/Trade in Africa
Crash Course: The Fall of Roman Empire (Byzantines)
Crash Course: Islam
Crash Course: Western Europe in the Middle Ages and Islam's Empire Expands
Crash Course: The Crusades

Assignments and lecture notes from class for Unit 3 A are posted below (these used to be at the top of the page)

This is due Tuesday of next week (right before break). If you will not be present in school - I need a picture emailed to me as an attachment - or turn it in early for Tuesday.

Unit 3 Part 1 Vocabulary (chapter 8) Due Wednesday 11/18

Use the quick summary guides and PowerPoint from class, found below - to HELP you with the definitions!
Then, make sure you scroll down through the entire page - as examples and important definitions may be found in there as well!

Chapter 8 Trade Network Lecture Notes From Class

Chapter 10 Lecture Notes Part 1: Christendom in Eastern Europe
Byzantines, Russia, Eastern Orthodox Church

Chapter 10 Lecture Notes Part 2: Western Europe and The Roman Catholic Church (Great Schism)

Chapter 11 The Rise of the Islamic Empire Part 1

Chapter 11 The Rise of The Islamic Empire Part 2

The Crusades (Chapter 10 of your textbook)

Indian Ocean Trade Quick Guide Summary

Southernization Article

Silk Roads, Indian Ocean Trade, Sahara Trade Quick Summary

Second Source Textbook Chapter:

Trade Networks (correlates to our chapter 8)

Islamic Empire Chapter (Correlates to our chapter 11)

Christianity in Western and Eastern Europe (Correlates to our chapter 10)