Books with purple parchment and gold lettering, both pagan and Christian, were known in ancient Rome, early Islamic Baghdad and early medieval Spain.
Within four centuries after Julius Caesar’s death, the Panchatantra used a cowardly donkey in playing with Caesar’s boast in Latin: “veni, vidi, vici.”
Bar Sauma, a Christian born in China, debated with cardinals in Rome. Franciscan Friar William of Rubruck debated in the Mongol court in central Eurasia.
Wāqid’s account of Bābak and the Khurramī uprising figuratively denigrated Bābak and his fellow Khurramīs’ pre-Islamic, non-Arabic culture.
Genghis Khan’s Mongol empire had eclectic, cosmopolitan beliefs. Determination to realize belief in Mongol divine supremacy distinguished the Mongols.
Sexual seduction is a more fertile field for elite literary elaboration than is religious or political fidelity, yet less socially functional.
Christian icons were used spiritually before Islam, continued to be used through Byzantine iconoclasm, and were prevalent in the 9th-century Islamic world.
The music business in ancient Eurasia was not just a specialized, elite urban profession. It included small, traveling enterprises.