Post-classical history

In world history, post-classical history refers to the period from about 500 AD to 1500, roughly corresponding to the European Middle Ages. The period is characterized by the expansion of civilizations geographically and development of trade networks between civilizations.[1][2][3][upper-alpha 1] This period is also called the medieval era, post-antiquity era, post-ancient era, pre-modernity era or pre-modern era.

Front piece of the Diamond Sutra, of Dunhuang, China, published in 868 AD. This Sutra was the first printed book using woodblock printing techniques and instrumental in spreading East Asian Buddhism. During the post-classical period, matters of faith took part in the development of political power and in the personal lives of most ordinary people in both the Old and New World.

In Asia, the spread of Islam created a series of caliphates and inaugurated the Islamic Golden Age, leading to advances in science in the medieval Islamic world and trade among the Asian, African and European continents. East Asia experienced the full establishment of power of Imperial China, which established several prosperous dynasties influencing Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Religions such as Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism spread in the region.[5] Gunpowder was developed in China during the post-classical era. The Mongol Empire connected Europe and Asia, creating safe trade and stability between the two regions.[6] In total the population of the world doubled in the time period from approximately 210 million in 500 AD to 461 million in 1500 AD.[7] Population generally grew steadily throughout the period but endured some incidental declines in events including the Plague of Justinian, the Mongol invasions, and the Black Death.[8][9]

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