these are the trade routes of two famous explorers, Marco Polo, and Ibn Batuta
Travel and Trade Main Points
this is the explorer Ibn Batuta

1. Trade: Valuables and Merchants in the Middle Ages

Trade: Valuables and Merchants in the Middle Ages

Lets travel back to a crowded dock in the Middle Ages. Wherever you look, there are people waiting for ships, children running through the busy streets, and merchants standing at their market stalls, buying, selling, and trading goods.
Some of the things they might be trading would be silk and jewels from China, furs from Russia, wood from Norway, or sugar and spices from India.
all of these items were necessities in the cities and towns, but were not common around the people of Europe, and so were greatly valued in the community. People needed wood for ships and stalls and other everday things that they needed to build, jewels and silks for fashion, furs for clothing and warm coats for the winter, and sugar and spices for food and medicine. when merchants returned from voyages, they were paid alot, which gave them the power to travel and buy more.


Merchants would hold yearly trade fairs, where merchants from all over Europe would come together for trade.
Merchants would also employ workers to make more common valuables like cloth and pay for the construction of buildings for their town. Their goods would be stored in local warehouses and sold goods on the streets in market stalls and booths. The head merchants met in a council to decide how to run the trade in their town. for each town the council would make specific trading rules which had to be followed to keep order.


If we wanted to travel somewhere today, all we would need to do is hop in our car or buy a plane ticket. This was not, however, the case for everyday people in the middle ages. for them, traveling around the world for goods, or just a fun vacation, was not a possibility. So merchants and explorers on their ships called "cogs", would travel around the world to all of these places, to get the needed supplies. Even for explorers travel was very hazardous due to lack of food or other supplies, storms and pirates that would attack the ship. Places like India, Africa and and China, were not discovered at all, though they were popular trading sources.


Here are some of the explorers tales:
Ibn Batuta: Ibn Batuta was a Muslim that lived in Fez, who on his pilgrimage to Mecca, had a dream about a bird that carried him around the world on its wings. after having this dream, Batuta decided to become an explorer and venture the world. He traveled to Arabia, Southern Russia, India and China, and also explored Africa.
Hsuan Tsang was a buddhist monk, who daringly traveled from Ch'ang-an in China, to Northern India.

Years of Travels/Voyages
Ibn Batuta
Marco Polo
Cheng Ho

Bingham, Jane. Medieval World. London, England: Usborne Publishing, 1999
Zelenyj, Alexander, Marco Polo Overland to China. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company, 2006