Getting back to Ferdinand von Richthofen’s definitions (see supra review No. 70), the author qualifies the dominance of silk trade in Eurasia through the history of the commerce of another major commodity: paper. A short overview of the history of paper-making, since its invention in southwest China in the centuries BC, is followed by the evocation of its gradual replacement of papyrus and parchment in the Mediterranean world, from the expansion of Abbasid bureaucracy from the late eighth century onwards. Paragraphs are also devoted to the European discovery of the Chinese and Japanese sources of paper history in the sixteenth century, and to the further oblivion of the pivot role played by the world of Islam in the transmission of paper technology from China to Europe.

The Redaction
CER: II-3.1.A-97