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map of the old world

The Old World consists of everything, that is not the New World (North and South America). In other words, the Old World includes Asia, Africa, and Europe, or the entire known world (during the Asian Golden Age, European Middle Ages, and Pre-colonial Africa), after the fall of the western Roman Empire, until the Americas were "discovered," by those in the Old World. This must not be taken literally, because the "New World" was already very old (in terms of advanced civilization), as well, but I don't know of any better term.

The other continents, Antarctica and Australia are not included, in this division (as they were also unknown to people in the Old World, at that time, as well). A similar more modern term would be the Eastern Hemisphere, except that it is missing parts of western Africa and western Europe and includes Australia and part of Antarctica. The official term is the truly ugly and unmemorable Afro-Eurasia.

My geographic focus is on Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. The time period is 300-1300 AD for Asia (Asian Golden Age), 500-1500 AD (Medieval Period) for Europe, and before 1800 AD (Pre-Colonial) for Africa. The topical focus is on major world belief systems: Eastern and Western Christianity, Sufi and Shia Islam, Upanishad style Hinduism, Sikh Dharma, Theravada and Zen Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism and Philosophical Taoism, Messianic and Rabbinical Judaism, Bahai faith, and Christian and Atheistic Existentialism.

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