The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia / Edition 1

The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia / Edition 1

by Frances Wood
2.2 4
ISBN-10:
0520243404
ISBN-13:
9780520243408
Pub. Date:
09/20/2004
Publisher:
University of California Press

Paperback

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Overview

The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia / Edition 1


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 It also contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin, and Mannerheim.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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520243408
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/20/2004
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 611,862
Product dimensions: 7.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Note on spellings7
1'A ceaselessly flowing stream of life'9
2Coiled dragons and filmy fleeces: jade and silk26
3From Greece and Rome to China - and back again36
4A people abandoned by Heaven: the Xiongnu and trade during the Han dynasty48
5The spread of trade and religions: Tocharians and Sogdians61
6The fashion for all things Central Asian75
7The Caves of the Thousand Buddhas: Buddhism on the Silk Road88
8Tanguts, Mongols, Nestorians and Marco Polo111
9A parterre of roses: travellers to Ming China and Samarkand130
10The Great Game and the Silk Road147
11Asia held them captive in her cold embrace: explorers on the Silk Road165
12Trophies and tiger entrails: hunting and theorising on the Silk Road180
13Securing specimens: Aurel Stein191
14An end to excavation: Pelliot, von Le Coq and Warner208
15The Baby General: travel on the Silk Road in the 1930s223
Epilogue: The Silk Road today243
References247
List of Illustrations255
Acknowledgements259
Index261

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The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the book is very boring and makes you want to fall asleep