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Animals as Diplomatic Gifts along the Maritime Silk Roads


Alexander Jost, Paris-Lodron-University Salzburg

Datum und Zeit

25. Mai 2022, 15:00–16:00 Uhr

Ort (online und vor Ort)

Bitte registrieren Sie sich für die Online-Teilnahme via Zoom über das Anmeldeformular.

Die Vorlesung findet zudem als Präsenzveranstaltung statt: Universität Zürich, Hörsaal SOD-1-104, Schönberggasse 9, 8001 Zürich


Forschungsprojekt «Sino-Indo-Iranica rediviva», Asien-Orient-Institut – Sinologie


When looking at single instances of diplomatic exchange, gifting animals often appears as marginal and curious. A closer observation, however, reveals that this is a very systematic phenomenon, which can be encountered in earliest historical sources and reaches until present times. The maritime spaces of the Pacific and Indian Oceans are surrounded by extremely various types of animal habitats as well as human political cultures in direct and indirect connection with each other for Millennia. Therefore it forms an ideal instance for an investigation of this topic. This presentation will not only discuss the process of gifting animals itself but will also relate it to questions of cosmologically relevant symbolism and of human-animal relations as well as of the practical issues encountered when transporting and keeping animals.