How the Chinese viewed the Byzantines: A fascinating audio extract from a primary Chinese source

In a recent piece we looked into what many believe was the first contact between the ancient Greeks, or more precisely the descendants of the successors of Alexander the Great’s vast empire when they met in the battle of the “Heavenly Horses” with the Chinese.

The contact between the two great cultures did not end there, as in the medieval era there were exchanges between the two civilisations through travel and trade.

This time, courtesy of a very informative and interesting Youtube channel called “Voices of the Past” we shed some light into the impression the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) left on a Chinese historian who travelled to the Empire.

The fascinating voice extract comes from the “Old Book of Tang”, the first history compiled of the Tang Dynasty in 945 AD. It is a compilation of earlier annals, dating from the 7th century up until the 10th, which shine light on the Chinese opinion of the Byzantine empire and the various embassies between the two states.

From the commentary on the way the Eastern Roman Empire is governed, its peoples, their customs and traditions, the primary source is truly an incredible journey into the past and how the Chinese viewed many facets of life in the West.