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"Go in quest of knowledge, even all the way to China."

— Muslim saying, attr the Prophet Muhammad

Ever since the beginning of Man's thirst for knowledge, there have been people who specially devote their time and money to the pursuit of further knowledge. This elite caste of men were, and are still held in high esteem. They are scholars, and form an integral part in the growth of civilisation, as human existence itself cannot continue or flourish without their input.

Scholars are "bought" at the University, where they begin actively collecting information from the moment of their creation. Each scholar in the University normally adds +5 to the amount of Knowledge gathered per minute. They are a necessary part of any civilisation as without them, the civilisation would stay stagnant in the Dark Age, and cannot progress. You cannot buy Knowledge from the market nor trade it with other civilizations, so the scholar is the way to obtain Knowledge (that or building and razing Universities repeatedly, which is neither economic nor convenient).

However, note that the cost of recruiting scholars is extremely high, so you will needs tonnes of bullion just to keep an army of scholars even to upgrade leather-clad spearmen into fully mailed knights, backed by powerful weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, the number of upgrades and units produced by scholars means that they will be highly valued and also made a prime target. If playing against the Japanese, always be wary of their ninja which can raze a university before slaying its occupants to impede your opponent's progress.

Many people assume that the post-Roman era was one of scientific ignorance and religious bigotry. Many people, in fact, are often wrong in saying so. Contrary to the Western concept of the "Dark Ages", the Old World at the onset of the 10th century represented years of continuous prosperity and progress. The concept of a European Dark Age characterised by superstition and intellectual sloth, often commonly held in Anglocentric spheres, is usually the result of ignorance of the cultural splendour and technological progress of the Chinese, Indian, Byzantine and Muslim civilisations. In Europe itself, a re-discovery of Latin literature and Roman culture was taking place, particularly in the Frankish empire of the 9th century. This was the first Roman renaissance, and while it would be thwarted by the social chaos of war-torn Europe, it would represent the first feelers of European society towards reclaiming the prestige and glory of the Roman world for her people.

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