The Silk Road Essay

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Long before there were trains, ships and airplanes to transport goods from one place to another, there was the Silk Road. Beginning in the sixth century, this route was formed and thus began the first major trade system. Although the term “Silk Road” would lead one that it was on road, this term actually refers to a number of different routes that covered a vast amount of land and were traveled by many different people. Along with silk, large varieties of goods were traded and traveled along this route both going to and from China. Material goods were not the only thing that passed along this path, but many religions were brought into China via the Silk Road. These topics will be discussed in detail in this paper. From Babylon in…show more content…
The Silk Road had many ups and downs depending on the dynasty holding power at any given time in China. The Tang dynasty in the seventh century was in power at the height of the Silk Road trade system, for example. Conversely, by the fourteenth century under the Ming dynasty, use of the Silk Road began to diminish (Department of Earth System Science; University of California Irvine). Although a German scholar named von Richthofen coined the term ‘Silk Road’, many other goods and materials were traded along this route. According to Jona Lendering, “In the West, silk was considered more precious than gold and it remained very rare and expensive” (LIVIUS Articles on Ancient History). In fact, at this time in history, people in the West simply referred to the people of China as Silk People. Other goods that traveled along the Silk Road included such items as fur, jade, bronzed jewelry, iron, lacquer, and ceramics. These items flowed out of China towards the west along with silk. Fruits, such as apples, oranges and grapes, made an appearance on the Silk Road. It is said that: “Foodstuffs also count in this category of the travel of ideas and techniques. Apples spread, in prehistoric times via the steppe belt, in both directions from the region of modern-day Kazakhstan; oranges went (via the maritime route) from China to the Mediterranean world; grapes went from the western
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