Follow the white camel: Islam in China to 1800

Zvi Ben Dor Benite

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter provides an unfastened periodisation, divided into four phases, that highlight the main features of each period in the history of Chinese Islam. The first phase is that of Changan and Quanzhou phase. The first significant marker of Muslim presence in China is the Great mosque in Xian (then Chang’an). Quanzhou/Zaitun bore the key hallmarks of Islamic presence in China between the eighth and thirteenth centuries. The Mongols populated their newly built observatory in Khanbaliq with astronomers brought in from the Islamic world, where astronomy and mathematics were the most advanced in the world. The Nanjing phase, which corresponds quite closely to the rise of the Ming dynasty in the fourteenth century, is a turning point in the Chinese Muslim history. Whereas the Nanjing phase of Chinese Islamic history was mostly cultural in nature, the final phase of Lanzhou and Xinjiang is marked by a mixture of cultural shifts, military activity and violence.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe New Cambridge History of Islam
    Subtitle of host publicationVolume 3: The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139056137
    ISBN (Print)9780521850315
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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