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Silk Road History

The merchants and Chinese silk were reaching Rome before the time of Christ. Through this Silk Road, the Chinese civilization was introduced to the Western countries and vice versa the Western culture came to the East. The Silk Road is a chapter recording the friendship between the European and Asian peoples. Traders of Chinese, Persians, Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Armenians and Indians...exchanged peculiar goods of their county, such as Chinese silk and tea, nephrite jade, spice, etc.

With a history more than 2,000 years, the Silk Route in China can be dated back to the Han dynasty (207 BCE – 220 CE) in ancient China. Though the Silk Road was mainly a trading route, it was started as a political mission in the first place. During the West Han Dynasty, the contemporary king Wu had sent an ambassador called Zhang Qian to visit western region countries to seek for potential allies to fight against the Huns which was a threat to central China in the north at that time. Zhang Qian brought a large amount of treasures from China which was mainly high quality exquisite silk to present to those kings and loads in west regions as a gift of good will. It was a treacherous journey and Zhang Qian didn’t succeed until the second time he made his journey west years later. He was a brave explorer, a brilliant diplomatist and the first man broke down the barriers between the ancient China, western regions and the central Asia. What he did made a great foundation to the Silk Route formation in later years.

In the following years in history, many great figures had made significant contributions to the development of the Silk Road. Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria Eschate during the Greek empire which later became a major staging point on the northern Silk Route. Not to mention those Chinese kings had subsequently sent numerous embassies to Syria, Anxi, Tiaozhi and Tianzhu over the years to keep the long-term trading connections with those Silk Road region countries. These connections marked the beginning of the Silk Route trade network had extended to the Roman Empire and the Silk Road finally reached its peak during the Byzantine Empire time in the west.

Today, the ancient Silk Road is more like a historical textbook for everyone to read and to catch about what happened during that ancient time. It played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, the Korea, Japan, the India, Persia, Europe, the Horn of Africa and Arabia, opening long-distance political and economic relations between the civilizations. In June 2014, UNESCO designated the Chang'an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road as a World Heritage Site. Silk Road in China now has brought great elegance to the tourism in China even in the world! Following our detailed instruction below, a splendid history of this ancient route is ready to unfold for you!