A. How have trade Diasporas of particular religious groups led to religious accommodations within the trade system and further creativity within their religions over the centuries? (be able to cite and illustrate on a map of Afro-Eurasia, examples in the context of the Greco-Roman and Han Chinese Empires, their collapse and resulting new diasporas centered on Islam from the 7th through the 16th century C.E. Significant terms: Alexander the Great/Akbar the Great, Lanteen Sail, Trade Winds, Pax Mongolia, Chinese Qin/Han/Tang/Song/Yuan/Ming/Ch'ing, Islamic Ottoman/Safavid/Mughal.
Since Buddhism and Christianity were legalized and incorporated more and more into their respective empires, the Roman and Han Chinese, the religions have made accommodations to suit the needs of the adherents. While Christianity and Buddhism preached humility as a prerequisite for heaven or nirvana (“it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven”), over the centuries, they accommodated people with money so that they too could achieve salvation through tithes/indulgences to the church/temple and other charitable contributions to the poor. Both religions amassed land through the centuries and became very influential politically (at times, even moreso than the government). In China and Japan, the government had to “crack-down” on Buddhist monasteries and break-up their huge land-holdings. In India, Hinduism allowed for a period in one's life to pursue wealth and a later time to renounce it; and Islam flourished in the expanding trade network that helped to spawn it when the trade routes shifted along the coast of Arabia in the seventh century CE. In Islam, a certain percentage of your income is required to be given to the poor. In the Christian realm, because taking interest on loans was forbidden early in the history of the church, Jews became the primary lenders. Since Jews were not allowed to own land in Europe, their expertise grew in money lending and occupations such as jewelry and watch making and academics. Generally speaking, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims represented trading communities, or Diasporas, living around the Afro-Eurasian world, and conducted long distance trade among believers in distant regions. Over the centuries, their religions incorporated many attributes of the host cultures in a process called syncretism. The saint system of Christianity and the Bodhisattva system of Buddhism incorporated local holy people into their respective religious pantheons of official holy people in the hierarchy between man and god. The practice of Islam also took on local cultural attributes as evidenced by the women's use of the veil in the mideast (a tradition that predates Islam), to no veil in northern Africa and Southeast Asia.