China 's Ancient Silk Road

908 WordsOct 2, 20154 Pages
China’s Ancient Silk Roads The Silk Road, a name given to the ancient trade routes linking China and Central Asia, was started in the second century BC when the Han Emperor, Wu the Great, sent his representative Zhang Qian to the west to start business. In 1877 CE, Ferdinand von Richthofen, a German geographer and traveler, called it the Silk Road (Hansen). The Silk Road is the most important trade route in history. It connected people from different continents, and it shaped the lives of people all across the world. During its peak, the Silk Road served as an international trade route and an incredible cultural bridge. “Starting from Chang 'an (today 's Xi 'an), the capital of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), and crossing the vast Western Regions, Zhang reached Loulan, Qiuzi, and Yutian and established trade relations with these small, but important kingdoms” (Wu). From China to Britain, the Silk Road stretched. “By the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE) trade between China and the west was firmly established and silk was the most sought after commodity in Egypt, Greece, and, especially, in Rome” (Mark). However, silk was not the only commodity that was traded. “Many of us have a mental vision of a single road connecting Europe with Asia but when you actually go to these countries, you see nothing like the Appian Way in Rome,” Author Valerie Hansen explains. “In almost every place there are multiple routes across the desert, maybe around the
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