For whan they cam from any strange place,
He wolde, of his benigne curteisye,
Make hem good chiere, and bisily espye
Tidynges of sondry regnes, for to leere
The wondres that they myghte seen or heere.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Man of Law’s Tale. The Sultan of Syria was always interested in meeting and hearing news from merchants who came back from any foreign place.