Silk Road

1687 Words Feb 3rd, 2012 7 Pages
The Silk Road was a trade network the connected the East to the West on the Eurasian continent. This trade included both overland and maritime routes. The central Asian kingdoms and peoples became the nexus point for much of this trade which lasted from the 3rd century B.C.E. to the 15th century C.E. Many products and other cultural expressions moved along the Silk Road and diffused among various kingdoms along it. In breaking down and separating the patterns of interaction that occurred along the Silk Road from 200 B.C.E. to 1450 C.E., one can conclude that changes and continuities in these interactions included products traded (changes in specific products and impact, continuity in luxury goods), cultural expressions and diffusion …show more content…
Because the Mongols controlled so much territory from China to Russia and the Middle East (they conquered Baghdad and overthrew the Abbasid caliphate), the Silk Road prospered like no other time and products flowed freely from East to West . A continuity throughout the timeframe was the fact that luxury goods usually drove the trade. Because products had to travel such great distances and thus there were so many middle men, only the very wealthy could partake of the trade . That is why gold and silver were preferred exchange mediums for the trade of silk and other fine eastern products .

Another pattern of interaction was cultural expression and diffusion . In the early part of the timeframe (200 B.C.E. -1450 CE), there was very little cultural influence occurring . This is because intermediaries carried on the trade between the Han and Roman empires and the two imperial powers really had no contact directly with each other . During the Tang dynasty in the middle of the timeframe, this actually changes. Persian dance and the game of polo are introduced in China as well as musical and clothing styles which become popular . Chinese paper influenced the Islamic and European medieval periods with written works now becoming more the norm in saving and transmitting cultural knowledge such as written bibles, histories, math and other intellectual discoveries . At the end of the timeframe during the 13th through 15th centuries the Mongols were instrumental in the
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