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 It also contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin, and Mannerheim.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.
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Frances Wood is Head of the Chinese section at The British Library. Her previous publications include Did Marco Polo Go To China? (1995), No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port Life in China 1843-1943 (1998), Hand Grenade Practice in Peking: My Part in the Cultural Revolution (2000), and Blue Guide to China (revised edition, 2002).From Publishers Weekly:
Illustrated with drawings, manuscripts, paintings and artifacts, this historical journey through the byways of the old Silk Road is a beautifully rendered tribute to the thousands of years in which these routes served as the center of trade. In reality, as Wood, head of the Chinese section at the British Library, explains, merchandise passing from Central Asia to Europe crossed over a large variety of routes before arriving at its destination, and "the number of travelers who actually traversed the full length of the Silk Roads was always very small." But the importance of the Silk Road is demonstrated by the vast cultural and religious movements that either began or flourished around it, and which are related in historical detail by the author, who traces the road to its origins as far back as Alexander the Great. This is a rich, and richly illustrated, history.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description University of California Press, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110520237862
Book Description University of California Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0520237862 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0201527