The Silk Roads: A Brief History With Documents

Paperback | March 21, 2012

byXinru Liu

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For more than 1500 years, across more than 4000 miles, the Silk Roads connected East and West. These overland trails and sea lanes carried not only silks, but also cotton textiles, dyes, horses, incense, spices, gems, glass, and ceramics along with religious ideas, governing customs, and technology. For this book, Xinru Liu has assembled primary sources from ancient China, India, Central Asia, Rome and the Mediterranean, and the Islamic world, many of them difficult to access and some translated into English for the first time. Court histories, geographies and philosophical treatises, letters, travelers’ accounts, inventories, inscriptions, laws, religious texts, and more, introduce students to the complexities of cultural exchange. Liu’s thoughtful introduction considers the many ways the peoples along the Silk Roads interacted and helps students understand the implications for economies and societies, as well as political and religious institutions, over space and time. Maps, document headnotes and annotations, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography offer additional pedagogical support.

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For more than 1500 years, across more than 4000 miles, the Silk Roads connected East and West. These overland trails and sea lanes carried not only silks, but also cotton textiles, dyes, horses, incense, spices, gems, glass, and ceramics along with religious ideas, governing customs, and technology. For this book, Xinru Liu has assembl...

Xinru Liu (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) teaches world history, the history of South Asia, and the history of Central Asia at the College of New Jersey in Ewing. She is associated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of History and Institute of World History. Among her many publications are The Silk Road in World Histor...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.28 × 5.46 × 0.3 inPublished:March 21, 2012Publisher:Bedford/St. Martin'sLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312475519

ISBN - 13:9780312475512

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
List of Maps and Illustrations
 
PART ONE. INTRODUCTION: FROM THE RISE OF THE SILK ROADS TO A EURASIAN MARKET SYSTEM
China's Trade on the Western Frontier, Second-First Centuries B.C.E
Rome's Trade to the East, First Century BCE-Second Century C.E.
The Kushan Empire and the Influence of Buddhism, Second Century B.C.E.-Second Century C.E
.The Oasis Towns of Central Asia and the Spread of Buddhism, Third-Seventh Centuries C.E.
The Byzantine Empire and Silks in Royal Purple, Sixth-Ninth Centuries C.E.
The Tang Empire and Foreign Traders and Priests, Eighth-Tenth Centuries C.E.
Muslim Baghdad in the Eurasian Market, Ninth-Eleventh Centuries C.E.
Trade Networks from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea, Tenth-Thirteenth Centuries C.E.
 
PART TWO. THE DOCUMENTS
1.  China's Trade on the Western Frontier, Second-First Centuries B.C.E.
1. Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian of China, Early First Century B.C.E.
2. Ban Gu, History of the Former Han Dynasty, Late First Century C.E.
3. Documents Excavated from Juyan Fort on the Great Wall, ca. 103 B.C.E.-40 C.E.
     Letter from an Officer to His Wife
     Travelers' Passports
     Soldiers' Work Assignments
2.  Rome's Trade to the East, First Century B.C.E.-Second Century C.E.
4. Strabo, The Geography, Early First Century C.E.
5. Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, ca. 145-60 C.E.
6. Pliny, Natural History, 77 C.E.
7. The Voyage around the Red Sea, First Century C.E.
8. Ptolemy, The Geography, Mid-Second Century C.E.

3.  The Kushan Empire and the Influence of Buddhism, Second Century B.C.E.-Second Century C.E.
9. The Questions of King Milinda, ca. 166-150 B.C.E.
10. The Lotus of the True Law, First Century B.C.E.-First Century C.E.
11. The Amitabha Sutra, First Century B.C.E.-First Century C.E.
12. Votive Inscription on a Silver Plaque from Taxila, First-Second Centuries C.E.
 
4.  The Oasis Towns of Central Asia and the Spread of Buddhism, Third-Seventh Centuries C.E.
13. Documents Excavated from the Ruins of Niya, Third Century C.E.
     Contract for the Sale of a Vineyard
     An Ownership Dispute about a Slave
     Regulations for a Community of Monks
14. Nanai-vandak, Letter to the Noble Lord Varzákk, ca. 313 C.E. 
15. Faxian, A Record of the Buddhist Kingdoms, ca. 416 C.E.
16. Song Yun and Huisheng, The Mission of Song Yun and Huisheng, ca. 547 C.E.
17. Huili and Yanzong, The Life of Xuanzang, ca. 664-688 C.E. 
18. Inventories Excavated from a Turfan Cemetery, Mid-Seventh Century C.E. 
     Tang Zhuanghui, ca. 641 C.E.
     Xinfu, 672 C.E. 

5.  The Byzantine Empire and Silks in Royal Purple, Sixth-Ninth Centuries C.E.
19. Procopius, History of the Wars, ca. 550 C.E.
20. Procopius, The Secret History, ca. 550 C.E.
21. The Book of the Eparch, ca. 895 C.E.

6.  The Tang Empire and Foreign Traders and Priests, Eighth-Tenth Centuries C.E.
22. Zhang Zhuo, Anecdotes from the Court and the Country, ca. 705 C.E.
23. Jingjing, Inscriptions from the Nestorian Stele, 781 C.E.
     The Messiah of Christians
     The Development of the Christian Church in China
24. Liu Xu and Others, The Old Tang History, 941-45 C.E.  
 
7.  Muslim Baghdad in the Eurasian Trading Market, Ninth-Eleventh Centuries C.E.
25. Sulayman al-Tajir and Others, An Account of China and India, ca. 851 C.E.
26. Mas'udi, The Meadows of Gold: The Abbasids, ca. 947 C.E.
27. Book of Gifts and Rarities, eleventh century C.E.

8. Trade Networks from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea, Tenth-Thirteenth Centuries C.E.
28. Captain Buzurg Ibn Shahriyar, The Book of the Wonders of India, 953 C.E. 
29. Inscription on a Cliff in the Port of Quanzhou, 1183 C.E.
30. Ibn Jubayr, The Travels of Ibn Jubayr, ca. 1185 C.E. 
31. Letter from a Jewish Trader in India to His Wife in Cairo, 1204 C.E.
32. Zhao Rukuo, Records Concerning Foreign Countries, 1225 C.E.
33. Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian, ca. 1298 C.E.
34. Song Lian and Others, History of the Yuan Dynasty, 1370 C.E.
 
Appendixes
A Chronology of the Silk Roads (Second Century B.C.E.-Thirteenth Century C.E.)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography
 
Index