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The Intrusion Of East Asian Imagery In Thirteenth-Century Armenia : Political And Cultural Exchange Along The Silk Road

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Chapter Summary

The pax mongolica of the thirteenth century instituted after the conquests of Genghis Khan reopened the Silk Road and provided a locus for the exchange?or, better, the importation into the imagination of medieval Armenia?of a number of notions and artistic expressions from China. This chapter is devoted to a close analysis of this cultural contact with East Asia by examining in depth a number of oriental motifs only casually described in earlier literature. The chapter also talks about the influence of East Asia on the legendary Alexander Romance. Though the Armenian translation of the Pseudo-Callisthenes was made in the late fifth century, it was only at the end of the thirteenth and the first years of the fourteenth century that there was a major revival of interest in it.

Keywords: Alexander Romance; artistic expressions; China; cultural contact; East Asia; medieval Armenia; oriental motifs; Silk Road



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