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The spread of economic activity, religion, & disease through trade.

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Presentation on theme: "The spread of economic activity, religion, & disease through trade."— Presentation transcript:

1 The spread of economic activity, religion, & disease through trade

2 What are Impacts of Long-distance Trade? Provides wealth to civilizations Gives civilizations access to foreign products Enables people to concentrate their efforts on economic activities best suited to their regions Facilitates spread of religions Made transmission of disease over far distances possible

3 Classical China, India, & Rome: Linked by Trade The Classical powers of Rome, India, and China provided internal stability to large territories Improved transportation infrastructure Their expanding size brought each of these into closer contact with one another Costs of long-distance trade were reduced Merchants began establishing an extensive network of trade routes that linked much of Eurasia and northern Africa These overland trade routes are known as the “Silk Roads”


5 Route of the Silk Roads Connected the two extreme ends of Eurasia Linked China, India, the Roman Empire, and other cultures in between Started in the Han capital of Chang’an Skirted the Taklamakan Desert Passed through oasis towns on the edge of the desert Continued west to Bactria (modern-day Afghanistan) and then forked, heading in two different directions: to northern India or to northern Persia (modern-day Iran) In northern Persia, the route joined with roads to ports on the Caspian Sea & Persian Gulf Route proceeded to Palmyra (modern Syria) in the Middle East Met roads coming from Arabia & ports on the Red Sea Continued west & terminated at Mediterranean ports that linked to other Roman ports

6 Route of the Silk Roads The Silk Roads also provided access at ports like Guangzhou in southern China that led to maritime (sea) routes to India & Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

7 Organization of Long Distance Trade on the Silk Road Individual merchants usually did not travel from one end of Eurasia to the other Instead, they handled long- distance trade in stages using camel caravans There were many merchants serving as middle-men Chinese, Persians, Indians, Romans, & others would dominate the caravan or maritime trade routes with their empire or territory of influence


9 Economics Silk & Spices traveled west from southeast Asia, China, & India China was the only country in classical times where cultivators & weavers had developed techniques for producing high-quality silk fabrics Spices served not just to season food, but also as drugs, anesthetics, aphrodisiacs, perfumes, aromatics, & magical potions

10 Economics Central Asia produced large, strong horses & jade prized by Chinese stone carvers The Roman empire traded glassware, jewelry, works of art, perfumes, bronze & iron goods, wool & linen textiles, olive oil, wine, & silver However, Europe offered things of less value compared to Asian goods. As a result, Europe had a huge trade imbalance with Asia. It lost money because it imported so many rare luxury goods from Asia.


12 Religion: Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) first announced his teachings publicly in India in 528 BCE By the 3 rd Century BCE, Buddhism was well-established in northern India Buddhism was especially successful in attracting merchants as converts

13 Religion: Buddhism Merchants & monks carried Buddhism along the Silk Roads where it first established a presence in the oasis towns where merchants & their camel caravans stopped for food, rest, lodging, & markets. Dunhuang, in China, was one such spot.

14 Religion: Buddhism at Dunhuang Between 600 & 1000 CE, Buddhists built hundreds of cave temples around Dunhuang depicting scenes of Buddha Leaders at Dunhuang… assembled libraries of Buddhist literature Supported missionaries which spread Buddhism throughout China

15 Silk Road Art: Buddhists at Dunhuang

16 Who is depicted in these sculptures? What cultures may have influenced the artistic style of these sculptures? Silk Road Art: Buddhists at Dunhuang

17 Religion: Christianity Antioch, in modern-day Turkey in the Middle East, at the western end of the overland Silk Roads, was an important center in early Christianity Antioch is mentioned many times in the Bible as a site of conversion to Christianity after Jesus’ death: “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year, Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Acts 11: 25-26 St. Peter’s Grottos Church - Antioch

18 Saint Paul, an early convert to Christianity, began his missionary journeys at Antioch 45-67 CE

19 Religion: Christianity Like other religions, Christianity followed the trade routes and expanded east throughout Mesopotamia, Iran, & as far away as India However, Christianity’s greatest concentration was in the Mediterranean Sea area, where Roman roads, like the Silk Roads, provided ready transportation


21 The Antonine Plague (165-180 CE) was a plague of either smallpox or measles brought back to the Roman Empire by troops returning from campaigns in the Near East after traveling the Great Silk Road. The disease broke out again 9 years later & the Roman historian Dio Cassius reported it caused up to 2,000 deaths a day at Rome Total deaths of the Antonine Plague have been estimated at 5,000,000 One of the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Han dynasty in China was a terrible plague that spread along the Great Silk Road due to merchant activity. Disease

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