Silk Road description is a bit misleading because it has no single route. It crosses Central Asia through various branches created, passing through various oasis settlements. The paths all started from the city in Changan, leading up the Gansu corridor, and arrived in Dunhuang on the edge of the Taklimakan. The Silk Road was first build in order to help link up the people in Warring states to form an alliance against the Xiongnu. The Silk Road helped to bring some interest to the court about unknown states to the west, and about the latest, larger type of horse that could be used to outfit the Han cavalry. Zhang Qian led this adventure in 138 B.C., which led to the discovery of the route to the west. Zhang Qian is still viewed by many to be the founder of the Silk Road. In the western part, the Greek empire, taken over by the Roman Empire, was supplied with small quantities of Chinese goods through the Silk Road. This is probably the first to have arrived with individual dealers, who may have commenced to make the trip in search of fresh markets in spite of the risk or the political circumstances of the time. The Silk not only serve as a route for trade goods, but also religion passed through this route from china to the western division.
The Silk Road was not a trade passage that exclusively existed for trading silk; various goods were also traded, from gold and ivory to foreign animals and plants. Of all the valuable goods passing this area, silk was possibly the most notable for the people of the west. It is normally considered that the Romans had first encountered silk in one of their operations against the Parthian in 53 B.C, and recognized that this comparatively unsophisticated people could not have manufactured it. The supposedly learned from Parthian prisoners that it came from a strange tribe in the eastern part, who they came to call the silk people, ‘Seres’. Through the Silk Road, it is probable that silk and other commodities were beginning to enter into Europe before this period, although only small amounts. The Romans accessed samples of this fresh material, and it abruptly became very popular in Rome, because of its soft texture and attractiveness. The Parthians swiftly realized that there was money to be obtained from trading the goods, and sent trade operations towards the east. The Romans also delegated their own agents to examine the roué, and to attempt to get silk at a cheaper price than that set by the Parthians. For this purpose, the Romans viewed the trade passage to the East as a passage for silk rather than the other commodities that were traded.
On top of silk, the Silk Road carried various other precious goods. Caravans moving towards China ferried gold and other precious metals, stones, and glass, which was not produced in china up to the fifth century. In the opposite route, furs, ceramics, jade, bronze items, lacquer, and iron ferried. Many of these commodities were traded for others along the route, and items normally changed hands several times. Through Silk Road, it occurs that there are no records of Roman merchants being spotted in Changan, nor Chinese traders in Rome, though their items were valued in both places. This would clearly have been in the interests of the Parthians and other intermediaries, who took as large benefit from the change of hands as possible. In this, they maximized the existence of the Silk Road.
The most important commodity to the society conveyed along the Silk Road was not silk alone, but also religion. Buddhism arrived in China from India this way, along the northern section of the route. The initial controls came as the passes over the Karakorum were first discovered. The Eastern Han ruler Mingdi is believed to have sent an agent to India to find out more about this extraordinary faith, and further missions came back bearing scriptures, and coming with India priests. Through this came controls from India sub-continent, as well as Buddhist artwork, instances of which have been discovered in various early second century tombs in current Sichuan province. This was significantly influenced by the Himalayan Massif, a helpful barrier between China and India, and therefore the Buddhism in china is successfully derived from the Gandhara civilization by the turn in Indus River, rather than straight from India. The new religion was slowly incorporated by the rulers in China and they encouraged its growth. Many more missions were delegated to India.
Following the emergence of Silk Road, there were many changes not only in China, but also across Europe and India as well. In China, there was the greatest flux of Buddhism that happened in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. This was at a period when China was partitioned into many different kingdoms. There were an ever-increasing number of traders, missionaries, and pilgrims. Christianity also made an initial significance on the scene. The Nestorian faction was forbidden in Europe by the Roman house of worship in 432 A.D., its supporters driven eastwards. From their stronghold in Northern Iran, traders brought the faith along the Silk Road, and initial Nestorian church was sanctified at Changan in 638 A.D.
The most notable thing about the Silk Road is that it led to the relative domestic stability in China during the Tang dynasty. This was after the segmentations of the earlier dynasties since Han. The independent states have been typically assimilated, and the worries from prowling people were relatively less. Relative stability was restored in China and growth of Buddhism in China was encouraged. Although the Silk Road was significantly affected by the strife between Christians and Moslem worlds, and divisions between various khans, it has recently been revived.
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In conclusion, the Silk Road is a significant feature in history because it has been able to survive many centuries and led to many changes in societies. From trade merchants to religion, people in the region developed significantly.
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