The discovery of China has been one of the most debated topics in history. Different schools of thought have varying opinions about who discovered China, when it was discovered, and how it was discovered. In this article, we will explore the different theories surrounding the discovery of China and try to uncover its origins.
Discovery of China
The discovery of China is a topic that has been steeped in mystery for thousands of years. Some historians argue that China was discovered by the Greeks, while others say that it was discovered by Marco Polo. The truth, however, is that China was discovered long before the arrival of the Greeks or Marco Polo.
Origins of China
The origins of China can be traced back to the Xia dynasty, which is considered the first dynasty of China. The Xia dynasty was followed by the Shang dynasty, which lasted from around 16th century BC to the 11th century BC. It was during this time that China experienced significant growth, and trade and commerce began to thrive.
Ancient Civilizations and China
Many ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, had contact with China during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. However, the earliest known contact between China and the outside world is recorded in the Shiji, a historical text from the Han dynasty. The Shiji states that in 219 BC, the Qin Shi Huang sent emissaries to what is now called the Yuezhi tribe in Central Asia, and they reported back about a land to the east that was known as China.
The Silk Road
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected China to the Mediterranean world. The trade routes were established during the Han dynasty and flourished during the Tang dynasty. The Silk Road facilitated trade and commerce between China and the Roman Empire, as well as other regions of the world.
Impact of Silk Road on China
The Silk Road had a significant impact on China, both economically and culturally. The trade routes helped China to develop into a major economic power, and they also facilitated the exchange of ideas and cultures. China’s contacts with other civilizations during this time helped to shape its philosophy, architecture, and art.
Western Discovery of China
The Western discovery of China is generally attributed to Marco Polo, an Italian explorer who traveled to China during the 13th century. Marco Polo’s account of his travels in China was published in a book called “Il Milione,” which became immensely popular in Europe.
Impact of Marco Polo’s Discovery
Marco Polo’s discovery of China had a significant impact on the Western world. His accounts of China helped to fuel European interest in China and the East, thus paving the way for future explorers and trade. Marco Polo’s book also helped to dispel many of the myths and legends that were associated with China in the West.
In conclusion, the discovery of China is a topic that has been shrouded in mystery for thousands of years. While many different theories have been put forth over the years, the truth is that China was discovered long before the arrival of the Western world. The Silk Road played a significant role in China’s economic and cultural development, while Marco Polo’s discovery helped to bridge the gap between the East and the West.
- When was China discovered? China was discovered long before the arrival of the Greeks or Marco Polo. Its origins can be traced back to the Xia dynasty, which is considered the first dynasty of China.
- Who discovered China? The discovery of China is attributed to various civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks, the Romans, and Marco Polo. However, China was discovered long before the arrival of these civilizations.
- How was China discovered? Different theories exist about how China was discovered. Some historians argue that it was discovered through trade and commerce, while others say that it was discovered through conquest or exploration.
- What impact did the Silk Road have on China? The Silk Road had a significant impact on China, both economically and culturally. It facilitated trade and commerce between China and the Mediterranean world and helped to shape China’s philosophy, architecture, and art.
- What was the impact of Marco Polo’s discovery of China? Marco Polo’s discovery of China helped to bridge the gap between the East and the West, fuel European interest in China, and dispel many of the myths and legends that were associated with China in the West.
- Bai, S. (2017). The Silk Road: The Route That Made the World. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.
- Dovring, F. J. (1976). The Idea of China in the Western World, 1300-1800. Malibu: Undena Publications.
- Wood, F. (2003). The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press.