The compass and how it affected China and Europe

Lesson 30

The compass affected China and Europe in different ways because of their cultures and beliefs.

The Chinese used the compass for designing and placing buildings and even tombs. Chinese people believed in the Chi or universal life force. Finding due North would maximize your Chi. Their enemy even dug up graves to lower their Chi. They used the compass for fortune telling and harmonizing individuals with their environment using energy as in geomancy and Feng Shui. Later on they adapted the compass for navigation.

The Europeans had a different idea. They used the compass for navigation on the sea so they could explore the sea and trade with other people. Before they had the compass they had to use the stars and landmarks to find their way around the waters. Since they started using the compass they could then navigate in the winter and bad weather when it was hard to see and make accurate Portolan charts that are rough maps of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

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