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Cross-Cultural Exchanges The Silk Roads. Long Distance Trade & the Silk Roads Network.

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Presentation on theme: "Cross-Cultural Exchanges The Silk Roads. Long Distance Trade & the Silk Roads Network."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cross-Cultural Exchanges The Silk Roads

2 Long Distance Trade & the Silk Roads Network

3 Trade Networks of the Hellenistic Era Road construction, bridges & establishment of imperial states improved conditions –Merchants could more easily travel This increased volume and accessibility of exotic goods throughout the eastern hemisphere Greek merchants & bankers were attracted east –Ptolemies in Egypt maintained routes into Africa Learned monsoon rhythms to navigate Indian Ocean –Established links between Arabia, India, east Africa & Egypt –Huge economic by back despite the expense to maintain & protect

4 The Silk Roads - Structure The overland trade routes known as the Silk Roads were anchored across Eurasia by –Han Dynasty: controlled China & central Asia –Parthian Empire: ruled Persia & Mesopotamia –Roman Empire: held the Mediterranean world –Kushan Empire: provided protection & stability in northern India Silk Roads also included water routes & sea lanes that link the eastern hemisphere –Used a series of ports along the Asian & African coasts from the South China Sea to the Red Sea

5 The Silk Roads - Trade Wide variety of manufactured & agricultural goods traveled the road –Silk from China Chinese guarded the secret of production –Spices from China & central Asia Served as condiments, as well as ingredients in medicines, perfumes & magical potions –Cotton textiles, pearls, coral & ivory went west –Glassware, jewelry, wool & linen went east –High quality jade from central Asian & horses were prized in both the east & west

6 The Silk Roads – Changes & Continuities Merchants did not travel the entire length of the roads –Small merchant communities developed along the silk roads & coastlines Trade occurred in stages –Governments guarded the movement of merchants within their empires Wanted to ensure collection of taxes & tariffs on the goods crossing their territories

7 Cultural & Biological Exchanges along the Silk Roads

8 The Spread of Buddhism: Religious Development Buddhism was the most prominent faith of the silk roads merchants from 200 BCE - 700 CE –Promoted by Emperor Ashoka it was spread with merchants to Ceylon, Bactria, Iran, central Asia, southeast Asia & China

9 The Spread of Buddhism: Changes & Continuities Did not take hold in China until monks used the 5 th century Chinese unrest as a springboard Quickly took hold in China, Japan & Korea

10 The Spread of Hindusim: Religious Development Merchants took Hinduism along the sea lanes –Spread to Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, parts of modern Vietnam and Cambodia

11 The Spread of Hinduism: Changes & Continuities Many areas adopted the cults of Shiva and Vishnu Sanskrit writing became the written means of communication in many of these areas

12 The Spread of Christianity: Religious Development Early Roman persecution was the result of Christian refusal to follow state prescribed religious ceremonies –Christian missionaries were perceived as violent & disruptive Missionaries capitalized on ease of travel & communication provided by the roads –By the end of the 3 rd century Christian communities flourished along the Mediterranean, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, across northern Africa & into southwest Asia

13 The Spread of Christianity: Changes & Continuities Christian practices were influenced by converts in Mesopotamia & Iran –Asceticism & withdrawal from secular socieity became a dominant aspect Influenced the development of monasteries & separate communities in the western Mediterranean Nestorian Christianity developed in the east –Greek theologian, Nestorius, stressed the human side of Jesus over the divine Mediterranean Christians opposed this & the Nestorians moved eastward

14 Spread of Manichaeism: Religious Development The The spread of Manichaeism relied on the trade routes of the classical world –Developed in the 3 rd century by Mani Based in Zoroastrianism with a dash of Christianity & a pinch of Buddhism –Mani believed that syncretism would meet the changing needs of the new cosmopolitan worldsyncretism The faith promoted a strict ascetic –Turned away from the physical temptations of the classical world –Promised salvation & eternal association w/light & good

15 The Spread of Manichaeism: Changes & Continuities Empires throughout the eastern hemisphere saw Manichaeism as a danger to public order –Wanted to exterminate the followers Roman & Sasanid emperors were largely successful –Still survived in the plains of central Asia Readily adopted by nomadic Turkish peoples who traded along the silk roads

16 The Spread of Epidemic Diseases: Demographics Pathogens for disease traveled easily along the silk roads –Small pox, measles, and bubonic plague Both the Roman & Han empires lost about 25% of their populations to disease carried along the silk roads

17 The Spread of Epidemic Diseases: Changes & Continuities Demographic changes impacted the economy –Both empires moved away from international trade Focused on regional exchange of goods Demographic changes impacted society –Cities became less desirable places to live Demise of both empires can be linked to the spread of disease along the silk roads

18 China After the Han Dynasty

19 Internal Decay of the Han State: Political Structures Main problems for the last Han Emperors: –Land distribution –Conflicting factions in the Imperial household Widespread unrest –Yellow Turban Rebellion was a secret peasant revolutionary group Wiley generals stepped in to take control

20 Internal Decay of the Han State: Changes & Continuities China was eventually divided in 3 sections –Wei –Wu –Shu Northern nomads grabbed northern China –Controlled it for the next 300 years

21 Cultural Change in Post-Han China: Religious Development After the fall of the Han China was filled with nomadic invasions and war –Population was decreased –People migrated from the cities Nomadic tribes populated China –Eventually settled & intermarried with Chinese –In time the nomads became Chinese in character sinicization:This is sinicization: invaders are assimilated into Chinese culture

22 Cultural Change in Post-Han China: Change & Continuity Religious change also resulted from the fall of the Han Dynasty –Confucianism, used to justify the Han, lost creditability as the chaos made it irrelevant Daoism offered hope –Elixirs & potions for health became popular Buddhism increased popularity –Had already been embraced by northern nomads –Laid foundation for new political unity

23 Fall of the Roman Empire

24 Internal Decay in the Roman Empire: Political Structure Size of the Empire was a major problem –“Barracks Emperors” attempted to seize & hold power Almost all died violently as another took over Epidemics weakened the empire –Many areas moved from commercial economies to self-sufficient economies

25 Internal Decay in the Roman Empire: Change & Continuity Diocletian attempted to restructure the empire by dividing it Constantine moved the capital to the wealthier eastern part of the empire –Byzantium (renamed: Constantinople) was more strategically located & easier to defendConstantinople –Finally only the western half of the empire fell

26 Germanic Invasions:Political Structure Migratory Germanic people brought down the western half of the empire in the 5 th c. –Eastern half remained until the 15 th century Pressure from the Huns of the steppes west of China pushed the Germans into the empire –Visigoths had lived on Rome’s border for centuries Had adopted agriculture & Christianity - fought as mercenaries for Rome

27 Germanic Invasions: Change & Continuity Visigoths had lived on Rome’s border for centuries –Had adopted agriculture & Christianity - fought as mercenaries for Rome Attila the Hun pushed the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals & Franks into the Empire –At first settled in less densely populated areas Eventually dominated Spain, France, Britain and north Africa By 476 CE they controlled Rome

28 Cultural Change in the Late Roman Empire: Developments Christianity & the Roman Empire changed –Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan Gave legal protection to Christians –Emperor Theodosius made it the official religion of the empire Augustine of Hippo reconciled Christianity with Greek & Roman philosophy –Made it more appealing to the educated, rather than the working-class, slaves & women

29 Cultural Change in the Late Roman Empire: Changes & Continuities Growth of the church created a need for standardization of the faith & development of a structural hierarchy –Council of Nicaea & Council of Chalcedon Proclaimed Jesus human & divine Established hierarchy: Bishop of Rome (pope), Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria & Constantinople After the fall of the western empire the importance of the Pope grew –Power of the patriarchs was subordinate to the emperor of the eastern empire

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