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By Ainslee Thomas Embree, Carol Gluck

The Eighties witnessed the advent of Asia into the middle curriculum at undergraduate associations during the usa, and Asian fabrics at the moment are on the threshold of common wisdom in literature, heritage, and the social sciences. The Columbia undertaking on Asia within the middle Curriculum was once inaugurated in 1984 below the sponsorship of Columbia college to aid this integration of Asian fabrics into the overall schooling curriculum. The venture, chaired by way of Wm. Theodore de Bary, Ainslie T. Embree, and Carol Gluck, has bought ongoing help from the nationwide Endowment for the arts, the Henry Luce beginning, The Panasonic starting place, and the U.S. division of schooling. the 3 courses are designed for college participants who're integrating Asian fabric into normal schooling classes essentially eager about the Western culture or canon. every one consultant comprises nearly 40 essays, written by means of major experts, and every essay conforms to a standard structure that makes the courses worthy to those that are integrating those fabrics into introductory classes within the numerous educational disciplines. The courses should be a useful source for direction practise. and every should be an fundamental reference for school and scholars alike.

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War, as a point of intersection of Asia in Western history, does not find explicit treatment in any of our essays, but in fact it is implicit in them all. Herodotus, as Van De Mieroop points out, made a sharp distinction between Asia and Europe, and this was based partly at least on his perception of the Persian attack on the Greeks. In the nineteenth century, this was transformed into the opposition of the Asian spirit of despotism with the European love of freedom. This view surfaces very strongly in writers discussed by Gordon and Goldman.

2 This would surely be one useful way to conclude a course in Western history that had attempted to mark its points of intersection with the civilizations of Asia. NOTE 1. G. , The First Voyage of Vasco da Gama (London: Hakluyt Society Publications, Old Series, No. 99, 1898), pp. 113-14 2. See M. Young, in this volume, p. 195. Page 7 THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD: EURASIA Rhoads Murphey Our purpose here is to enrich the student's understanding of Western civilization by pointing out its interconnections with Asia throughout history.

THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES Islam was important as a conduit of classical Mediterranean cultureparticularly Aristotelian thoughtas well as of technical innovations from South and East Asia to Europe. Dante's Infernowhichplaces Avicenna and Averroes in the First Circle but consigns Mohammed and Ali to horrible punishments belowis illustrative of the ambivalent Western attitude. THE CRISIS OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY Although not chronologically accurate, the Mongols and Marco Polo seem so peripheral to the High Middle Ages that treatment might be deferred to the fourteenth centurywhen the spread of Marco Polo's "tall tales" and the diffusion of East Asian discoveries (notably gunpowder) throughout Europe began to have an impact.

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