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The Silk Road Networks of Communication and Exchange.

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1 The Silk Road Networks of Communication and Exchange

2 The Silk Road The Silk Road was an important overland trade route which stretched more than 5,000 miles and linked China with the Mediterranean coast of the Middle East and Europe.(McCannon 82) The Seleucid kings who succeeded Alexander the Greats empire focused on Mesopotamia and Syria causing an Iranian nomadic leader to establish and independent Kingdom in northeastern Iran. (Bulliet 175) The Parthians had become important for the Silk Road because they were located on the threshold of Central Asia and sharing customs with the steppe nomads of the east. (Bulliet 175) In 128 B.C.E a Chinese general named Zhang Jian reached the fertile valley of Ferghana, where he encountered westward-flowing rivers and he found horse breeders whose animals far outclassed any other horse he had seen. This ultimately led to General Zhang, who led eighteen expeditions, being the originator of overland trade with western lands. (Bulliet 175) The cause for the Silk Road to form was the eagerness of the Chinese to have western goods, such as horses, and on the western end the organized Parthian state, which consisted of flourishing markets of Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. (Bulliet 175)

3 The Silk Road General Zhang brought the alfalfa and wine grape plants to China. Chinese culture has also adopted pistachios, walnuts, pomegranates, sesame, coriander, spinach, and many more crops. Chinese artisans and physicians made good use of the new products such as jasmine oil, oak galls, sal ammoniac, copper oxides, zinc, and precious stones. (Bulliet 176) Traders brought new fruits such as peaches and apricots, which were mistaken for Persian Plums and Armenia plums. The also carried with them cinnamon, ginger, and other spices that could not be grown west. (Bulliet 176) By 100 B.C.E Greeks could buy Chinese silk from Parthian traders and caravans also bought and sold goods along the way in prosperous Central Asia cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara. (Bulliet 175) The Spices the were being exchanged where important because they had numerous purposes such as food preservation, flavoring, and pharmaceutical reasons. (Lupinskie-Huvane 76) Most importantly, the silk road facilitated the exchange of ideas and diseases. Around the fourteenth century, The Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death, killed around one third of Europe’s population. (Kanarek 146)

4 The Silk Road The main countries that traded in the Silk road were Southeastern Asia, China, and India. They traded silk and spices west to consumers in Central Asia, Iran, Arabia, and the Roman Empire. Central Asia traded Horses, jade, and magic potions west. (Lupinskie-Haven 76) The trade route connected the Han Dynasty and Roman Empire in classical times. (Lupinskie-Haven 76) After the fall of the Han and Roman empires, the route was revived first by the Tang and Song and later by Mongols. (Lupinskie-Haven 76) The rise of the Sasanid empire in Iran brought a continuation of the rivalry between Rome and the Parthians and intensified trade along the Silk Road. (Bulliet 176) Cities in Iran were small walled communities that were military strongpoint's protect long-distance trade. The Sasanid farmers pioneered in planting cotton, sugar cane, rice, citrus trees, eggplants, and other crops adopted from India and China

5 The Silk Road The Sassanid's established Zoroastrian faith which meant that Christianity and Zoroastrianism were both official faiths of that state. Both of these religions practiced in tolerance yet a third century inscription boasts of persecutions of Christians, Jews, and Buddhists carried out by Zoroastrian High Priest. A new religion spread along the silk road called Manichaeism. The founder, Mani, was a preacher who believed in a dualist faith which was a struggle of good and evil. The politicization of religion greatly affected the culture of the Silk Road.

6 The Silk Road As the silk road became increasingly important in Central Asian life, Iranian-speaking peoples started to settle down in trading cities and surrounding farm villages. A group of nomads originally from the Altai Mountains farther east had spread along the steppes and became dominant pastoral groups. The Silk Road had spread many customs and beliefs on a wide range of people through missionary influences. Military technology helped caravans safely cross the silk road and trade with many cities without having to fear of being ransacked by a group of bandits. An example of this consists of Chariot Warfare and mounted bowmen. Evidence of the stirrup comes first from the Kushan people which was a solid bar then a loop of leather to support the rider’s big toe and a device of leather and metal or wood supporting the instep. This gave rider’s greater statability in the saddle. Stirrups allowed a mounted warrior to use a lance and not worry about being pushed of his mount.

7 Multiple Choice Questions 1.The trading demands for the formation of the silk road… A.Was the eagerness of the Chinese to have western goods such as horses. B.The High demand of supplies during the rivalry of Rome and Parthian empires. C.The abundance of precious stones in mineral deposits located along southeastern Asia. D.Demand for materials needed to build and expand societies E.The demand of silk by Greek societies.

8 Multiple Choice Questions 2.What was the importance of the Silk Road? A.The Silk Road allowed for military advancements along this route and to restock and replenish the needs of soldiers in order to go into battle and conquer other nations. B.The Importance of the Silk road was for missionaries of Christianity to convert the beliefs of many people and spread ideas. C.The Silk Road allowed for important goods to be sold such as spices, plants, and animals and the spread of ideas, culture, and disease. D.The Silk Road allowed for merchants to sell goods along the route and to travel safely without fear of being ambushed by bandits. E.The importance of the Silk road was for the transfer of spices that are used in food preservation, flavoring, and pharmaceutical reasons.

9 Multiple Choice Questions 3.How has the Sasanid Empire impacted the Silk Road? A.The Sasanid Empire has impacted the Silk Road with the invention of the stirrup which allowed for riders to have greater statability in their mounts which in turn helped them guard the silk road stronger. B.The Sasanid Empire has intensified trade along the Silk Road, pioneered in planting new crops, and the politicization of religion within the empire has greatly affected the culture of the Silk Road C.The Sasanid Empire has intensified trade along the Silk Road, pioneered in planting new crops, and established their dualistic faith with Manichaeism. D.The Sasanid Empire allowed for safer travel along the Silk Road because merchants were being ambushed, which helped the empire become successful. E.The Sasanid Farmers needed new plants such as cotton, sugar cane, rice, citrus trees, and eggplants adopted from Iran and Rome.

10 Map of the Silk Road (OrexCA.com)

11 Ruins of the Han Dynasty (Bear)

12 Woven Silk Textile ( drs2biz)

13 Model of Egyptian Maritime Trade (Schengili-Roberts)

14 Bibliography 1.Bear, The Real. Ruins of the Han Dynasty/ Summer Vacation Bulliet, Richard W. Earth and its People AP edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, drs2biz. Silk from Mawangdui 2. 4.Kanarek, Abby. Cracking the AP World History Exam. New York: Random House Inc., Lupinskie-Huvane, Lorraine. Barron's AP World History Flash Cards. Hauppauge: Barron's Educational Series, OrexCA.com. Map of the Silk Road. 7.Schengili-Roberts, Keith. FuneraryPaddlingBoatW-TombOfMeketre.

15 Answer Key 1.The trading demands for the formation of the silk road… A.Was the eagerness of the Chinese to have western goods such as horses. The cause for the Silk Road to form was the eagerness of the Chinese to have western goods, such as horses, and on the western end the organized Parthian state, which consisted of flourishing markets of Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. (Bulliet 175)

16 Answer Key 2.What was the importance of the Silk Road? C.The Silk Road allowed for important goods to be sold such as spices, plants, and animals and the spread of ideas, culture, and disease. Most importantly, the silk road facilitated the exchange of ideas and diseases. Around the fourteenth century, The Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death, killed around one third of Europe’s population. (Kanarek 146) The Spices the were being exchanged where important because they had numerous purposes such as food preservation, flavoring, and pharmaceutical reasons. (Lupinskie-Huvane 76)

17 Answer Key 3.How has the Sasanid Empire impacted the Silk Road? B.The Sasanid Empire has intensified trade along the Silk Road, pioneered in planting new crops, and the politicization of religion within the empire has greatly affected the culture of the Silk Road. The rise of the Sasanid empire in Iran brought a continuation of the rivalry between Rome and the Parthians and intensified trade along the Silk Road. (Bulliet 176) The politicization of religion greatly affected the culture of the Silk Road. The Sasanid farmers pioneered in planting cotton, sugar cane, rice, citrus trees, eggplants, and other crops adopted from India and China


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