The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia
The Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes stretching across Central Asia to Europe, evokes exotic images of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, spices, and perfume, of desert oases surrounded by snow-capped mountains, of bustling markets thronging with travellers buying and selling grapes, coriander, Baltic amber, and Mediterranean coral. Along this route, silks were sent from China to ancient Rome; princesses were dispatched in marriage alliances across the deserts; bandits and thieves launched attacks throughout history.
Covering more than 5,000 years, this book, lavishly illustrated with photographs, manuscripts, and paintings from the collections of the British Library and other museums worldwide, presents an overall picture of the history and cultures of the Silk Road. It also contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin, and Mannerheim.
More than just a trade route, the Silk Road witnessed the movement of cultural influences. Frances Wood traces the story of the civilizations and ideas that flourished and moved along its vast geographical expanse. Indian Buddhism was carried into China on the Silk Road, initiating a long history of pilgrimages along the lonely desert routes; Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, and Islam also made their way eastwards along its route.
The nineteenth century saw a new interest in Central Asia and the Silk Road, as Russia and Britain vied for power on the frontiers of Afghanistan. A new breed of explorer, part archaeologist, part cartographer, part spy, was seen on the Silk Road, while some of the ancient cities, long buried in sand-blown dunes, began to give up their secrets. This book brings the history of the Silk Road alive--from its beginnings to the present day, revealing a rich history still in the making.
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Review: The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of AsiaUser Review - Benjamin Plume - Goodreads
If you can't tell, I did a research project on the Silk Road. Read full review
Review: The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of AsiaUser Review - Ann Chamberlin - Goodreads
Although this book had great illustrations and pointed me in the direction of good books to read, especially among early western travellers, it seemed to me the author of this one was too dependent on quoting others--especially for a University Press book. Read full review
A ceaselessly flowing stream of life
Coiled dragons and filmy fleeces jade and silk
From Greece and Rome to China and back again
A people abandoned by Heaven the Xiongnu and trade during the Han dynasty
The spread of trade and religions Tocharians and Sogdians
The fashion for all things Central Asian
The Caves of the Thousand Buddhas Buddhism on the Silk Road
Tanguts Mongols Nestorians and Marco Polo
Trophies and tiger entrails bunting and theorising on the Silk Road
Securing specimens Aurel Stein
An end to excavation Pelliot von Le Coq and Warner
The Baby General travel on the Silk Road in the 1930s
The Silk Road today
List of Illustrations