It’s time to prepare a query letter for a new manuscript though my research is still going on. This is the first time that I am trying to connect different ideas that comprise my second work.
My second history book has the working title, “The Enchanting Encounter with the East”. My new manuscript, which is based on my on-going research, tells a story about the fumbling contacts between the Latin West and the bizarre East throughout the Late Middle Ages. The book runs about 90,000 words and targets adult and young adult readers, especially those who love and/or study history.
Medieval scholars and traders are busy collecting information about the mysterious East, the abode of marvels and spices. In spite of a popular belief that a known world includes three continents, some well-educated people guess that there might be the fourth mainland across the ocean and argue whether it is populated or not. European seafarers undertake daring voyages across the Western Sea and discover new islands. Shipwrights introduce new kinds of vessels and experiment with their rigging to make a ship that can endure the unchartered waters.
The East strikes an overwhelming blow when the Mongolian cavalry penetrate into the heartland of Europe. The West is charmed with eastern legends. While marvels and monsters take over the popular imagination, the “practical” people figure out how to make contacts with the Christian powers of the East to squeeze the lands of Islam firmly and to break the monopoly of Muslim merchants on the spice commerce. The first western ambassadors and traders bring back firsthand facts stirring the competition among European nations to reach the fabled lands first.
My new research in the project concerns medieval legends referring to the East. The first part deals with Alexander’s Wall and Enclosed Nations. I’d like to expose the core of the legend: the construction of the Iron Gate by Alexander the Great to repel barbarian nomads and various conflations. For example, an association of imprisoned peoples with Gog and Magog of the Apocalypse. The link between their liberation and the Last Days. The identification of the oppressed people with different monsters: the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, the Turks, and the Mongols. The confusion between the Caspian Gates and the Gates of the Caucasus.
My second project is devoted to links between the Latin West and the East. The first three chapters are available at my page at the academia.edu site:
As I see from statistical reports, different readers have begun to get interested in my blog. You’re welcome to make comments concerning my project.
You can also visit another blog at my site http://www.michaelbaizerman.com/
where I discuss my first book “Dawn and Sunset” whose second edition was published by Authorhouse this year.
I have started another research connected to my second project. It is devoted to legends about the East which were influential in the Latin West throughout the Middle Ages. This time I am looking for Alexander’s Gate, Gog-Magog, and Enclosed Nations. Though well-researched, this topic deserves another attempt as the motivation to travel to and study about the East was warmed up by the circulation of certain tales. I will also delve into mappaemundi-a parallel world of medieval knowledge.
I have apploaded a revised article titled “What if the Earth is the Sphere?”. It is devoted to the concept of the spherical earth. The article can be viewed at https://www.academia.edu/11252943/What_if_the_Earth_is_the_Sphere
This is the first chapter of my new manuscript about the medieval encounter between the Latin West and the East. The title of Unit 1 is “The Miraculous Revival or the Painful Recovery”. It deals with the recovery of geographical knowledge in the Latin West during the Middle Ages. The chapter describes the concept of the spherical Earth. Born in the ancient Greece, it was picked up and developed by medieval scholars who nevertheless claimed that this sphere is immovable, that is not rotating, and attempted to find a reasonable explanation.