Until the start of the sixteenth century Europeans knew almost nothing about the Asian-Pacific area or its peoples and empires. Contacts were erratic and sparse. Some Europeans, their numbers much diminished during the fourteenth century, were eager to import Eastern spices, Chinese silks and even bureaucratic principles, not to mention technologies including gunpowder and the magnetic compass. But even educated folk were only dimly aware, through news by caravan or occasional travellers like Marco Polo, of the civilizations and riches of the fabulous East.
KeywordsSeventeenth Century Local Ruler Magnetic Compass East India Company Foreign Ship
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