Starting from the mid-13th century a phase of contact between East Asia and Europe began, which ended around 1368. The unification of most of Asia and Eastern Europe under the Mongol dominion lead to the formation of new spaces for cultural and commercial contacts: “Mongol Eurasia”. About halfway through the 13th century, in the European linguistic-cultural space, numerous began to circulate that communicated a “new” image of China compared to that transmitted by ancient sources. The first travellers to journey to East Asia and to reach the Khan’s court at the epoch of the Mongol expansion, were the Franciscan Friars Giovanni da Pian di Carpine and William of Rubrouck. Their ac¬counts were followed by those of merchants, such as Marco Polo, and other Friars Minor, such as Odoric of Pordenone. A flow of information reached Europe, gradually reshaping the traditional, consolidated image of East Asia. The Mongol expansion in the thirteenth century was a tragic event, which caused monstrous slaughters and massacres, ruins and famine throughout Asia and Europe. At the same time, it brought into contact different peoples of differing cultures and created a sort of common area in which a great number of people could move quite freely. Material wealth circulated together with men, but also there was a circulation of intangible wealth. The personal experiences of missionaries like William of Rubrouck and Odoric of Pordenone represent some of the clearest examples of this valuable exchanges between West and East that take place during the Pax Mongolica.
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