Search Results for "the-silk-road-a-new-history"

The Silk Road

The Silk Road

A New History

  • Author: Valerie Hansen
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0190218428
  • Category: History
  • Page: 328
  • View: 8104
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The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting--as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden--sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.

The Silk Roads

The Silk Roads

A New History of the World

  • Author: Peter Frankopan
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 1101946334
  • Category: History
  • Page: 672
  • View: 2031
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“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian The epic history of the crossroads of the world—the meeting place of East and West and the birthplace of civilization It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. From the rise and fall of empires to the spread of Buddhism and the advent of Christianity and Islam, right up to the great wars of the twentieth century—this book shows how the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. Peter Frankopan realigns our understanding of the world, pointing us eastward. He vividly re-creates the emergence of the first cities in Mesopotamia and the birth of empires in Persia, Rome and Constantinople, as well as the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death and the violent struggles over Western imperialism. Throughout the millennia, it was the appetite for foreign goods that brought East and West together, driving economies and the growth of nations. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts. Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Hardcover edition.

The Silk Road in World History

The Silk Road in World History

  • Author: Xinru Liu
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 9780199798803
  • Category: History
  • Page: 168
  • View: 7710
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The Silk Road was the contemporary name for a complex of ancient trade routes linking East Asia with Central Asia, South Asia, and the Mediterranean world. This network of exchange emerged along the borders between agricultural China and the steppe nomads during the Han Dynasty (206BCE-220CE), in consequence of the inter-dependence and the conflicts of these two distinctive societies. In their quest for horses, fragrances, spices, gems, glassware, and other exotics from the lands to their west, the Han Empire extended its dominion over the oases around the Takla Makan Desert and sent silk all the way to the Mediterranean, either through the land routes leading to the caravan city of Palmyra in Syria desert, or by way of northwest India, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea, landing at Alexandria. The Silk Road survived the turmoil of the demise of the Han and Roman Empires, reached its golden age during the early middle age, when the Byzantine Empire and the Tang Empire became centers of silk culture and established the models for high culture of the Eurasian world. The coming of Islam extended silk culture to an even larger area and paved the way for an expanded market for textiles and other commodities. By the 11th century, however, the Silk Road was in decline because of intense competition from the sea routes of the Indian Ocean. Using supply and demand as the framework for analyzing the formation and development of the Silk Road, the book examines the dynamics of the interactions of the nomadic pastoralists with sedentary agriculturalists, and the spread of new ideas, religions, and values into the world of commerce, thus illustrating the cultural forces underlying material transactions. This effort at tracing the interconnections of the diverse participants in the transcontinental Silk Road exchange will demonstrate that the world had been linked through economic and ideological forces long before the modern era.

Empires of the Silk Road

Empires of the Silk Road

A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present

  • Author: Christopher I. Beckwith
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9780691135892
  • Category: History
  • Page: 472
  • View: 3831
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The first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Empires of the Silk Road represents a fundamental rethinking of the origins, history, and significance of this major world region. Christopher Beckwith describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In addition, he explains why the heartland of Central Eurasia led the world economically, scientifically, and artistically for many centuries despite invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and others. In retelling the story of the Old World from the perspective of Central Eurasia, Beckwith provides a new understanding of the internal and external dynamics of the Central Eurasian states and shows how their people repeatedly revolutionized Eurasian civilization. Beckwith recounts the Indo-Europeans' migration out of Central Eurasia, their mixture with local peoples, and the resulting development of the Graeco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations; he details the basis for the thriving economy of premodern Central Eurasia, the economy's disintegration following the region's partition by the Chinese and Russians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the damaging of Central Eurasian culture by Modernism; and he discusses the significance for world history of the partial reemergence of Central Eurasian nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Empires of the Silk Road places Central Eurasia within a world historical framework and demonstrates why the region is central to understanding the history of civilization.

The Silk Roads

The Silk Roads

A Brief History with Documents

  • Author: Xinru Liu
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • ISBN: 9780312475512
  • Category: History
  • Page: 208
  • View: 8425
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For more than 1500 years, across more than 4000 miles, the Silk Roads connected East and West. These overland trails and sea lanes carried not only silks, but also cotton textiles, dyes, horses, incense, spices, gems, glass, and ceramics along with religious ideas, governing customs, and technology. For this book, Xinru Liu has assembled primary sources from ancient China, India, Central Asia, Rome and the Mediterranean, and the Islamic world, many of them difficult to access and some translated into English for the first time. Court histories, geographies and philosophical treatises, letters, travelers’ accounts, inventories, inscriptions, laws, religious texts, and more, introduce students to the complexities of cultural exchange. Liu’s thoughtful introduction considers the many ways the peoples along the Silk Roads interacted and helps students understand the implications for economies and societies, as well as political and religious institutions, over space and time. Maps, document headnotes and annotations, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography offer additional pedagogical support.

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: James A. Millward
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199782865
  • Category: History
  • Page: 152
  • View: 3928
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The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction is a new look at an ancient subject: the silk road that linked China, India, Persia and the Mediterranean across the expanses of Central Asia. James A. Millward highlights unusual but important biological, technological and cultural exchanges over the silk roads that stimulated development across Eurasia and underpin civilization in our modern, globalized world.

The Silk Road

The Silk Road

Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

  • Author: Frances Wood
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 9780520243408
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 270
  • View: 5703
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Covering five thousand years of history and delving deeply into the archives the British Museum and other famous collections of art and antiquities, this fascinating tour of a storied trade route introduces readers to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this legendary trail. (History)

Pilgrims on the Silk Road

Pilgrims on the Silk Road

A Muslim-Christian Encounter in Khiva

  • Author: Walter R. Ratliff
  • Publisher: Walter Ratliff
  • ISBN: 1606081330
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 293
  • View: 5065
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Synopsis: They were seeking religious freedom and the Second Coming of Christ in Central Asia. They found themselves in the care of a Muslim king. During the 1880s, Mennonites from Russia made a treacherous journey to the Silk Road kingdom of Khiva. Both Uzbek and Mennonite history seemed to set the stage for ongoing religious and ethnic discord. Yet their story became an example of friendship and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Pilgrims on the Silk Road challenges conventional wisdom about the trek to Central Asia and the settlement of Ak Metchet. It shows how the story, long associated with failed End Times prophecies, is being recast in light of new evidence. Pilgrims highlights the role of Ak Metchet as a refuge for those fleeing Soviet oppression, and the continuing influence of the episode more than twelve decades later. Endorsements: "Walter Ratliff's history of the Mennonite Great Trek to Central Asia offers a new angle of vision upon one of the most remarkable events of Mennonite history. Pilgrims on the Silk Road puts the Great Trek into the context of nineteenth-century imperial rivalry and of the Russian conquest of Khiva. The author tells tales of Muslim-Christian cooperation that resonate with meaning in our twenty-first century of religious polarization. Ratliff's perspective is revisionist without being contentious. I hope this book will find a wide readership." -James Juhnke, Bethel College, Emeritus "In Pilgrims on the Silk Road, Ratliff has brought to light a fascinating but little known chapter in the history of European involvement in Central Asia, along the silk road. His portrait of the Mennonite mission to Khiva makes for great reading and an excellent companion to such classic works as Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game." -Charles M. Stang, Harvard Divinity School Author Biography: Walter Ratliff is a journalist and religion scholar from Washington, DC. He holds degrees from Georgetown University, Wheaton College, and the University of New Mexico. He is the producer/director of the documentary "Through the Desert Goes Our Journey" (2008).

Life Along the Silk Road

Life Along the Silk Road

Second Edition

  • Author: Susan Whitfield
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 0520280598
  • Category: History
  • Page: 288
  • View: 4931
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"In this long-awaited second edition, Susan Whitfield expands her trailblazing exploration of the Silk Road and broadens her rich and varied portrait of life along the great premodern trade routes of Eurasia. This new edition is comprehensively updated to support further understanding of themes relevant to global and comparative history. In the first 1,000 years after Christ, merchants, missionaries, monks, mendicants, and military men traveled on the vast network of Central Asian tracks that became known as the Silk Road. Whitfield recounts the lives of twelve individuals who lived at different times during this period, including two new characters: an African shipmaster and a Persian traveler and writer during the Arab caliphate. With these additional tales, Whitfield extends both geographical and chronological scope, bringing into view the maritime links across the Indian Ocean and depicting the network of north-south routes from the Baltic to the Gulf. Throughout the narrative, Whitfield conveys a strong sense of what life was like for ordinary men and women on the Silk Road, the individuals usually forgotten to history. A work of great scholarship, Life along the Silk Road continues to be extremely accessible and entertaining"--Provided by publisher.