The China History Podcast
Adventurer Zhang Qian
In this episode we look at the life of one of the bravest and greatest adventurers of ancient times. Zhang Qian was selected by the Han Dynasty Emperor Wu to make a political alliance with a distant central Asian people, the Yuezhi. Zhang Qian's thirteen year journey to the west between 138 BC and 126 BC brought back massive amounts of intelligence and understanding about those distant lands beyond Han China's frontiers. This great adventurer and national hero of China paved the way for the explosion of two way trade that followed in his footsteps and led to the development of the Silk Road.
Dick Whittington, merchant and mayor of London
Sir Richard Whittington was four times Lord Mayor of London, a Member of Parliament and a sheriff of London. In his lifetime he financed a number of public projects, such as drainage systems in poor areas of medieval London, and a hospital ward for unmarried mothers. He bequeathed his fortune to form the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington which, nearly 600 years later, continues to assist people in need.