Silk road: monks, warriors & merchants on the Silk Road
To the modern reader, the Silk Road conjures up images of fabled cities and exotic lands, of long-gone empires and great conquerors. In this authoritative book, Luce Boulnois explores the encounter between East and West across the vast continental expanse that separates the Mediterranean world from the Chinese one. She unravels in a clear and compelling way the complex threads that make up the history of these great overland trade routes, which allowed the transmission across the world of ideas and beliefs, techniques and works of art, helping to shape the civilizations that flourished along the way. How did the Romans, following in the footsteps of the Greeks, discover these farflung regions? What did the Chinese know of the European world? How did they manage to keep the secret of silk manufacture safe for centuries? Did Marco Polo really go to China, or was he just a clever impostor? But the importance of Central Asia is not just a thing of the past, and the author discusses its significance in the modern world in cultural and geopolitical terms, including the implications of the most recent events taking place there.