In 1254 A.D., King Hethum I of Armenian Cilicia, a kingdom on the Mediterranean coast in the midst of the Crusades, sought an alliance with the world’s mightiest power of the time, the Mongol Empire. The overland journey was far flung and dangerous and many barbarian nations were encountered therein, but the result was a success and curious adventure.
The Maldives have long been regarded as a paradise on Earth, but legend has it that its islands are the birthplace of the coconut. See here why it is right properly considered “brain food.”
Aden was and still is an important port city on the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Built up by medieval merchants, it was the home of many rich and eccentric traders. Click above to read more about a funny rivalry between two such men.
The Land of Darkness was a realm of pitch black in the northern reaches of Eurasia where a legendary race of spirit-people resided, guarded by tundra wolves. They opened their realm only to the richest and most adventurous of merchants. This is the history of the medieval Siberian fur trade.
Despite the pestilence of the plague, which ravaged the world for centuries, measures of social distancing and a desire for a new world sparked the genius in many of humanity’s greatest thinkers. Dreamers like Isaac Newton, Petrarch and Boccaccio, and Leonardo da Vinci were able to hone their mental energy toward their creative pursuits and lead humanity toward new planes of enlightenment.
If the Mongol dead could find love and get married in the afterlife, then it’s never too late for you.
Be wary, Traveler, for the folks you meet out yonder are no folk at all…
The 13th century founder of an Islamic sect of ascetic Sufi monks shaved his head, beard, and eyebrows just to avoid being with a woman and so pleased his deity.
Accounts of people living to extreme old age exist in plenty, but many seem to have a common factor: asceticism.
Did he actually bring back pasta and gunpowder from China? No, but he possibly coined the term “Millionaire.”