China

Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

On February 7, 1935, the Chinese-Swedish expedition lead by Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, travel writer, and illustrator Sven Hedin after crossing Mongolia and the Gobi Dessert reaches Xi’an on the Southern route of the Silk Road. ““I was swept away by the irresistible desiderium incognitti which breaks down all obstacles and refuses to recognise the impossible” ― Sven Hedin, My Life as an Explorer, 1926 Early Years Hedin was the son…
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In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

On September 23, 1215 AD Kublai Khan, the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki, and a grandson of Genghis Khan, was born. Considering the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world‘s inhabited land area. Kublai’s Way to Power Although the prince had Chinese educators and advisors, he still lived…
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Joseph Needham and the History of China

Joseph Needham and the History of China

On December 9, 1900, British historian and sinologist Joseph Needham was born. Needham is best known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and technology. He wrote and edited the landmark history Science and Civilisation in China, a remarkable multivolume study of nearly every branch of Chinese medicine, science, and technology over some 25 centuries. Education Joseph Needham was the only child of a London family. His father was…
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Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

Johan Gunnar Andersson and Chinese Archaeology

On July 3, 1874, Swedish archaeologist, paleontologist and geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson was born. Andersson is closely associated with the beginnings of Chinese archaeology in the 1920s. He laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1921, at a cave near there, on the basis of bits of quartz that he found in a limestone region, he predicted that a fossil man would be discovered. Six years later, the first…
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Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen and the Silk Road

Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen and the Silk Road

On May 5, 1833, German traveller, geographer, and scientist Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen was born. Von Richthofen is noted for coining the terms “Seidenstraße” and “Seidenstraßen” = “Silk Road(s)” or “Silk Route(s)” in 1877. He also standardized the practices of chorography and chorology. Richthofen and the Alpine Geology Ferdinand von Richthofen was born in Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, to Karl Richthofen and his wife Ferdinande. He attended the Catholic Gymnasium in Breslau (today…
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The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company (EIC) received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies pursuing trade with the East Indies. The Foundation Already 12 years before, the Spanish Armada was defeated and merchants turned to the Queen, asking for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean, which was granted. Some smaller companies formed, but several ships got lost…
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