Essay: Commerce and trade in Early Europe
There was the formation of the Hanseatic League in the 12th century in northern Europe that was meant to aid several cities to trade freely by use of the sea. This was enabled by the formation of the Lubeck city that later dominated the League between 1158 and 1159 (Wilkinson 54). this initiated most of the cities in Holy Roman Empire to become hanceatic cities including Berlin, Hanover, Bremen, Cologne and Amsterdam. In this period of great and successful trade, German started to colonize several parts of Eastern Europe and this went beyond the Empire to Sileasia and Prussia.
During the last era of the 13th century, Marco Polo, a Venetian explorer was among the first Europeans who used the Silk Road as they traveled to China. Polo was able to document his travels in the II Milione and this made the westerners become more acquainted with the Far East. His travels were followed by so many Christian missionaries who made it to the East including Giovanni di Monte Corvino, Giovanni de Marignolli, Giovanni da Pian del Carpini, Andrew of Longjumeau, William of Rubruck and Odoric of Pordenone. There were other travelers who were not missionaries for instance, Niccolo da Conti.