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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!

Merchants in Silk Road

Merchants in Silk Road

The merchants in Silk Road might be the most active groups who were the significant driving force of the traffic in Silk Road. Merchants have made an important contribution to the communication of western and easter...

Zhang Qian and Silk Road

Zhang Qian and Silk Road

Zhang Qian, an outstanding diplomat, traveler and explorer in the Han dynasty of China was honored as the "pioneer of the silk road", "the first Chinese to open their eyes to see the world" and &quo...

Peace-making Marriage in Ancient Silk Road

Peace-making Marriage in Ancient Silk Road

In the Silk Road, the most moving scene was the convoy team which sent the princess to the minority nationalities in the border areas to make peace, this was called "Heqin". Heqin (和亲,literally meaning &...

Goods in Silk Road

Goods in Silk Road

The goods carried in silk road moved basically from the East to the West. Goods were usually transported by foot. Along the way people would use camels, horses, and yaks to get safely across. Numerous goods were barte...

Monks in Silk Road

Monks in Silk Road

In the silk road, people who didn’t aim to pursue benefit, instead, seek gospel and truth, come and go various regions by overcoming a lot of difficulties, tended to be the religious monks. Perhaps the most represe...

China Paper-making Technology in Silk Road

China Paper-making Technology in Silk Road

The four great inventions of ancient China were the four inventions that had great influence on the world in ancient China. They were papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing. These four inventions greatly p...

Transportation along Silk Road

Transportation along Silk Road

Animals are really an essential part in the history of the Silk Road. They played an irreplaceable role in the silk road transportation. While those animals such as sheep and goats supplied the necessities in everyday ...

Ancient Loulan in Silk Road

Ancient Loulan in Silk Road

Traveling to Xinjiang Province, China, there is one place which is attractive to adventurous travelers. That is the ancient country of Loulan in the western region, a mysterious ancient city called "Pompeii in the...

Chinese Historical Sites in Silk Road

Chinese Historical Sites in Silk Road

The 2,000-year-old Silk Road, a trade route linking Asia and Europe, began in Xian, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and ended in Europe after passing through southern and central Asia countries. More t...

Silk Road in China Han Dynasty

Silk Road in China Han Dynasty

The Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade of silk grew rapidly during Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD.   The Opening up of the M...

Silk Road in China Tang Dynasty

Silk Road in China Tang Dynasty

Tang Dynasty may be the most powerful and prosperous in Chinese history. In the first 100 years of Tang Dynasty, its prosperity helped it to achieve an unparalleled height on the trade as well as connection with the outs...

Ancient Xinjiang in Silk Road

Ancient Xinjiang in Silk Road

The areas ancient Silk Road passed by were those cities started from Chang'an (today’s Xian) in the east and went through Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang (in Gansu) and Turpan, Urumqi, Kashgar in Xinjiang, then fu...

The Decline of the Silk Road

The Decline of the Silk Road

The land silk road originated from ancient Chang 'an (now Xi 'an) in ancient China, and lasted for 2500 years from the Han dynasty to the middle of the 19th century, and was hailed as the "canal of human civ...

Ancient Silk Road VS Modern Silk Road

Ancient Silk Road VS Modern Silk Road

The silk road is a famous ancient land route that traversed Asia and connected Eurasia. The development and change of the silk road was constantly. The causes of the decline of ancient silk road was thought-provoking, an...

Misunderstanding of the Silk Road

Misunderstanding of the Silk Road

There seems to be some misunderstandings of the Silk Road from the western people. They thought there was only a single route could be taken and silk was the only commodity that was traded in ancient Silk Road. Howe...

Foreign Influence on the Silk Road

Foreign Influence on the Silk Road

"The silk road" was neither real silk nor a real road, not one or a few fixed commercial roads, but a network of goods that were set up in a series of entrepots. The importance of silk seemed far less than that...

Hexi Corridor on the Silk Road

Hexi Corridor on the Silk Road

Historical Status The ancient silk road started from xi 'an and crossed the Hexi corridor and then entered Xinjiang from Yang Pass and Yumen Pass respectively. The Hexi corridor became the hub of the ancient...

North Silk Road in China

North Silk Road in China

The ancient silk road, spanning more than 2,000 years, was divided into land silk road and maritime silk road by route. And the land silk road was divided into four routes according to the geographic directions and ...

Silk Trade on the Silk Road

Silk Trade on the Silk Road

Silk is a specialty of China. The ancient Chinese laboring people invented and mass-produced silk products, which opened the first large-scale commercial exchange in the history of the world. From the western Han dynasty...