The Silk Road was a network of Eurasian trade routes active from the second century BC until the mid-15th century. Spanning over 4,000 miles, it played a central role in facilitating economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between the East and West. The Silk Road derives its name from the highly lucrative trade of silk textiles that were produced almost exclusively in China until the Renaissance in Italy. The network began with the Han dynasty's expansion into Central Asia around 114 BC through the missions and explorations of the Chinese imperial envoy Zhang Qian, which brought the region under unified control. The Parthian Empire provided a bridge to East Africa and the Mediterranean. By the early first century, Chinese silk was widely sought-after in Rome, Egypt, and Greece. Other lucrative commodities from the East included tea, dyes, perfumes, and porcelain; among Western exports were horses, camels, honey, wine, and gold. Aside from generating substantial wealth for emerging mercantile classes, the proliferation of goods such as paper and gunpowder greatly altered the trajectory of various realms. (Wikipedia)
REQUIRED READING FOR THE WHOLE ACADEMIC YEAR
Powers and Thrones,
This new history of the Middles Ages has just appeared from the best-selling author Dan Jones. It is perfect for us. The organization and the coverage is excellent. It reads well and is a pleasure. The cost of it is about 20$ from Amazon, either hardcover or paperback. If you prefer the lighter paperback then choose it, but the hardcore will endure better. Please use our link on this page to buy from Amazon because we get credit($) for each purchase.
Here are just a few of the reviews.
"Not only an engrossing read about the distant past, both informative and entertaining, but also a profoundly thought-provoking view of our not-really-so-‘new’ present . . . All medieval history is here, beautifully narrated . . . The vision takes in whole imperial landscapes but also makes room for intimate portraits of key individuals, and even some poems."—Wall Street Journal
"A lively history . . . [Jones] has managed to touch every major topic. As each piece of the puzzle is placed into position, the modern world gradually comes into view . . . Powers and Thrones provides the reader with a framework for understanding a complicated subject, and it tells the story of an essential era of world history with skill and style."—The New York Times
The New York Times bestselling author returns with an epic history of the medieval world—a rich and complicated reappraisal of an era whose legacy and lessons we are still living with today.