The Vivaldi brothers' ill-fated journey to India; what drives the brothers, or drives any explorer, to take a risk and venture into the unknown; theories on how the Pacific islands become populated starting with an epic movement 7,000 years ago.
The originator of scientific exploration treks to the edge of the world so that he can see what is there; putting Pytheas the Greek in the context of his time and place; the Mediterranean as a cradle of civilization; influencing later exploration.
Religious motivations for exploration; the Irish monk St. Brendan sails the Atlantic in a tiny leather boat; he seeks God and flees the world's corruptions; some search for paradise and some for seclusion; a legacy that affects later exploration.
Alarmed at inconsistencies in the Buddhist texts available to him, Xuanzang embarks on an illegal holy pilgrimage to acquire authoritative teachings; he brings Buddhist traditions to the Confucian Chinese; the central character in a classical novel.
The story of Leif Eriksson and the Vikings is relatively well known; Professor Liulevicius takes one deeper into why the Vikings, or Norsemen, explore; evidenced by their culture of adventure and values that press them onwards in often violent ways.
Traders travel the Silk Road since the Roman Empire; there is little awareness of what exists at the other; Marco Polo's accounts of China opens Europeans' eyes to an advanced civilization; the medieval world; Polo's travels and legacy.
Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
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