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Asians in Ancient Rome and visa versa.

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SulcataIxlude View Drop Down
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  Quote SulcataIxlude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Asians in Ancient Rome and visa versa.
    Posted: 25-Mar-2005 at 04:46
Hello I was wondering if the Chinese or other eastern asian people had any influence on the Roman empire, and Roman culture besides the fact they traded with one another. And the same goes for Rome if it influenced Chinese culture or at least made any impact besides trading between each other. Thank you for your time.
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  Quote Scytho-Sarmatian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2005 at 06:09
Trade was just about the only interaction between Romans and Far Easterners, and most of that was done throught mideastern middlemen.  If you consider the Huns to have been and eastern Asian people, then there was also a military interaction as well.  The Huns had been mercenaries in the Roman military before Atilla's invasion of the Empire.  However, I sense that you are asking about civilized East Asians such as the Chinese, in which case there is no record of any cultural influences (outside of the wearing of silk).
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  Quote vagabond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Mar-2005 at 02:56

Moving thread to Greek and Roman forum - more folks who are interested in Rome will see it there.

vagabond 

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2005 at 16:46
Asian (far asian) civilizations had little influence. I think of the "pasta" but that's about it. The far asians who made their way to Europe were nomads and barbarians, not the best example of a civlization.
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2005 at 22:22
Far Eastern influence on Europe during the classical period was not as great as it was during the medieval period.

The biggest influence is probably the exchange of materials, especially silk, which became increasingly popular with the Roman nobility. Trade influence was far from little, because the silk road was a very important part of the Roman economy. The loss of Roman gold on the silk road was one of the reasons for the increaing inflation toward the end of the empire.


Edited by Imperator Invictus
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  Quote MengTzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2005 at 02:39
Actually, there seems to be subtle influences of Chinese culture on Enlightenment Europe.  Confucius was talked about quite often.  The I Ching was studied by scholars.  (It's quite possible that the binary codes, "100010101000" stuff, were derived from the I Ching, which contains symbols that essentially consist of two elements, solid lines and broken lines.)  I'm surprised nobody mentioned Chinese influences of earlier times, such as various inventions like paper and gun powder.  Overall, the influence of China over Europe was quite small and subtle.
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  Quote Scytho-Sarmatian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2005 at 03:38
Yes, that may be true, but we are mainly talking about the classical period here.
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  Quote Liang Jieming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2005 at 06:22
Well, envoys from Rome are supposed to have reached the Han dynasty though even then people were skeptical of these "envoys" and suspected they were merely merchants posing as envoys to get better treatment/trade rights etc.  Apparently from the records, the gifts they presented to the Han officials were not rich or precious enough making them suspect.

As for a Chinese envoy to Rome, the Han dynasty tried sending a few but the furthest one ever got was to the edge of the Mediterranean somewhere along the Syrian coast.  He turned back allegedly because a local sailor told him Rome was still very, very far away and the journey would be very dangerous.  Pity.  He was practically at Rome's doorstep.
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  Quote J.Caesar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2006 at 22:25
Anyone heard of the loss legions. Persians could have sent Roman prisoners there as slaves to the Chinese dynasty. The Persians had enorous respect for the Romans as fighters. There was evidence I heard that there were Chinses writings of warriors wth caucsion features who used 'turtle shell' fighting style and had enormous barvery. Never know.
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  Quote Elerosse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2006 at 05:40
Can't really find the source, but Ban Chao, the chinese general during East-Han period did send envoys to Rome. There were also some theories saying that Han traded military technology to Parthians, for instance the crossbows, for retrun of parthian horses and gold. 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2006 at 12:55
Originally posted by J.Caesar

Anyone heard of the loss legions. Persians could have sent Roman prisoners there as slaves to the Chinese dynasty. The Persians had enorous respect for the Romans as fighters. There was evidence I heard that there were Chinses writings of warriors wth caucsion features who used 'turtle shell' fighting style and had enormous barvery. Never know.
 
Yes i have heard of them also. I also read that when they fought they would have been 70 years old, 70 year old men arent brave. I also read (chinese military website) that they established a town and mixed with the locals. So these offspring would not have shown predominant caucasoid features.
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2006 at 11:32
As for a Chinese envoy to Rome, the Han dynasty tried sending a few but the furthest one ever got was to the edge of the Mediterranean somewhere along the Syrian coast.  He turned back allegedly because a local sailor told him Rome was still very, very far away and the journey would be very dangerous.  Pity.  He was practically at Rome's doorstep.


According to Gibbon, a Chinese envoy was present at Aurelian's triumph celebration in Rome:

"The ambassadors of the most remote parts of the earth, of thiopia, Arabia, Persia, Bactriana, India, and China, all remarkable by their rich or singular dresses, displayed the fame and power of the Roman emperor, who exposed likewise to the public view the presents that he had received, and particularly a great number of crowns of gold, the offerings of grateful cities."

However, I have not been able to track down where he got that information. I think he referred a lot to the Historia Augusta, which mentions something similar, but makes no reference to China.

So I think Gibbon extrapolated and made it up. (which is a technique that seems to be common in his works).
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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2006 at 13:07
Originally posted by Liang Jieming

Well, envoys from Rome are supposed to have reached the Han dynasty though even then people were skeptical of these "envoys" and suspected they were merely merchants posing as envoys to get better treatment/trade rights etc.  Apparently from the records, the gifts they presented to the Han officials were not rich or precious enough making them suspect.

As for a Chinese envoy to Rome, the Han dynasty tried sending a few but the furthest one ever got was to the edge of the Mediterranean somewhere along the Syrian coast.  He turned back allegedly because a local sailor told him Rome was still very, very far away and the journey would be very dangerous.  Pity.  He was practically at Rome's doorstep.
 
I believe that the closest they got was somewhere in the vicinity of the Tigris, in the Parthian empire. Had they been at the edge of the Mediterranean, they would have been in the Roman Empire already.
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  Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2006 at 14:48
Originally posted by Decebal

I believe that the closest they got was somewhere in the vicinity of the Tigris, in the Parthian empire. Had they been at the edge of the Mediterranean, they would have been in the Roman Empire already.
 
Its recorded from Hou Han shu(The book of later Han), the Han emissary Gan ying sent by Ban chao(Han protector general of "western region"), travelled to the western border of Anxi(Parthia), and reached Tiaozhi, bordering "western sea".But, upon hearing tales that this "western sea" is dangerous to cross by Anxi sailors, Gan Ying turned back.(some believe its the tale of "siren" that Gan ying heard, hes apparently impressed by such tale.)
 
 
 
wiki identify Tiaozhi with Characene, as those who argue the "western sea" Gan ying reached is Persia Gulf.
 
However others disagree, they say Persian Gulf is to the south of Parthia, there is noway it should be referred as "western sea". (and this dosent seem to match the tale of "Siren")
 
They identify Tiaozhi with Antiochia, say Gan ying actually reached eastern shore of Mediteranean.
 
Other sources say he only reached Caspian sea or black sea, but are less convincing.
 
Gan ying didnt reach Rome, but definately not just the vicinity of Tigris.
 
 
 
 


Edited by The Charioteer - 28-May-2006 at 20:16
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