How much about the world did the ancient rulers knew about?

Aug 2018
13
Bangladesh
#1
Suppose I am Pharoah Narmer and have just united Egypt in approx 3150 BCE. Now I do know about the Nubians along the Nile in the south, I also know about the pesky Libyan tribes in the western desert and probably other random tribes in the eastern desert. But do I know about Canaan and its petty kings? Do I know who is ruling in Damascus in Syria. Do I even know that Mesopotamia and its numerous city states are thriving? What about the great sea to my north? Who lives beyond it? If I have have a world map drawn for me, what do I see in that map?

Same question goes for people like Ramases II, Darius I, Alexander of Macedon, Hannibal Barca, Chandra Gupta Mauriya, Qin Shi Huang, Caesar and Arminius?
 
#2
indian merchants were plying between china and africa as early as last centuries BC and probably much earlier so they definitely knew about all these land africa/western asia/SEA/china. java is mentioned in mahabharata or ramayana, some scholars think that suvarnabhumi means philippines, mauryan artifacts have been discovered from thailand/ringstone. some indian glass beads have been discovered from prehistoric periods of japan.

In the news: Advances in chemical analyses helped show Southeast Asian and Indian origins of ancient glass beads

al beruni history of india also describes indian knowledge of antarctica or australia/ southern lands as well.

some indian buddhists also reached korea and japan and spread buddhism there, Maranatha c. 384 introduced buddhism in Korea.

elaborate policies were made during mauryan period to extend indian trade relations with south east asia particularly and this is thought in response to declining of trades with the central asia. from eastern india there were also trade relations with south eastern china and tibet.

im not so sure about diplomatic ties though.

regards
 
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Nov 2016
683
Germany
#3
Suppose I am Pharoah Narmer and have just united Egypt in approx 3150 BCE. Now I do know about the Nubians along the Nile in the south, I also know about the pesky Libyan tribes in the western desert and probably other random tribes in the eastern desert. But do I know about Canaan and its petty kings?
Narmer knew Canaan quite well because he led a campaign there that left some archeological traces in various places. Egyptians had been possessive in Southern Canaan in the two centuries before and made it an Egyptian colony, Narmer only put the icing on the cake (if you want to call acts of violence so sarcastic). There were no large military campaigns, but some native settlements were burned and Egyptian colonies were established in these places. The natives had to pay tribute to Narmer. But there were certainly no real kings in Canaan at that time, but chieftains.
 
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Aug 2016
3,811
Dispargum
#4
At the beginning of his war against Persia Alexander was aware of a place on the other side of Persia called India. At this point he was unaware of China. After defeating Persia Alexander began his invasion of India thinking that his plan of global conquest was almost complete. As he came into contact with more Indians he learned about a place called China and became discouraged that the world was larger than he had originally believed. If not Alexander, then his army became discouraged, and the soldiers began to agitate that Alexander end his wars and take them home. This why historians say that Alexander conquered the known world. Most of the world was unknown to Alexander.
 
Jul 2012
3,178
Dhaka
#5
At the beginning of his war against Persia Alexander was aware of a place on the other side of Persia called India. At this point he was unaware of China. After defeating Persia Alexander began his invasion of India thinking that his plan of global conquest was almost complete. As he came into contact with more Indians he learned about a place called China and became discouraged that the world was larger than he had originally believed. If not Alexander, then his army became discouraged, and the soldiers began to agitate that Alexander end his wars and take them home. This why historians say that Alexander conquered the known world. Most of the world was unknown to Alexander.
Persians wouldn't know about China?
 
Dec 2009
4,700
Blachernai
#6
Aug 2016
3,811
Dispargum
#7
Persians wouldn't know about China?
Maybe they did, but my readings suggest that the Persians didn't tell Alexander about China. Alexander's prewar knowledge of India had come to him through Persian sources. Maybe he did start to hear rumors of China before reaching the Indus, but those rumors didn't effect his policies until after he was in the Indus Valley.
 
Jul 2012
3,178
Dhaka
#9
Maybe they did, but my readings suggest that the Persians didn't tell Alexander about China. Alexander's prewar knowledge of India had come to him through Persian sources. Maybe he did start to hear rumors of China before reaching the Indus, but those rumors didn't effect his policies until after he was in the Indus Valley.
Alexander's conquered territory was almost identical to the extent of Achaemenid empire, ending at Indus. As such, it would seem that his primary objective was to conquer Achaemenid empire.

The claim that he was out to conquer the 'known world' (and related myths) was most likely later day inventions.
 
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