History Podcasts

How Ancient Europeans Circumnavigated Africa, Explored Iceland, and Sent Goods all the Way to Japan

How Ancient Europeans Circumnavigated Africa, Explored Iceland, and Sent Goods all the Way to Japan

What is the greatest extent of classical European reach, and how did they affect or influence the culture of the known world in that period?

In today's episode I answer this question-which was submitted by Karl, a listener from Norway. Greek and Roman civilization got much further afield than it had any right to. Forget about Alexander's Hellenistic Revolution reaching all the way to India in the fourth century BC. There's evidence of ancient fleets circumnavigating Africa, Greek explorers whom the Ptolemy's commissioned to travel to Scandinavia, and even Roman jewelry ending up in fifth-century Japanese tombs.

Learn how a tangled web of traders, explorers, and diplomats created the first age of globalization, fueled by commerce and transmitted by the Silk Road.