The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller - a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east. 'Magnificent' Sunday Times 'Immensely entertaining ... so ambitious, so detailed, so fascinating' The Times For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the west – in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of riches and adventure. Sweeping right across Central Asia and deep into China and India, a region that once took centre stage is again rising to dominate global politics, commerce and culture. A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is a dazzling exploration of the forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and goods and are now heralding a new dawn in international affairs.
Set your sails east with this stunningly original new history of the world. Peter Frankopan, number one bestselling author and historian explores the connections made by people, trade, disease, war, religion, adventure, science and technology in this extraordinary book about how the east married the west with a remarkable voyage at its heart – the journey along the Silk Roads. From ancient world laws laid down by King Hammurabi and the mighty Persian empire, to terrifying huns, the rise of Europe, two world wars and politics today, The Silk Roads moves through time and history sewing together the threads from different peoples, empires and continents into a phenomenal history of the globe. With stories from each and every corner of society, Frankopan's magnificent brand new text based on his literary triumph The Silk Roads, sumptuously illustrated by Neil Packer, is a must-have world history.
A brand new book from the Sunday Times and internationally bestselling author of The Silk Roads 'Masterly mapping out of a new world order' – Evening Standard Revised and updated edition The New Silk Roads takes a fresh look at the relationships being formed along the length and breadth of the ancient trade routes today. The world is changing dramatically and in an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads, where ties are being strengthened and mutual cooperation established. This prescient contemporary history provides a timely reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected. Following the Silk Roads eastwards from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, Peter Frankopan assesses the global reverberations of continual shifts in the centre of power – all too often absent from headlines in the west. The New Silk Roads asks us to re-examine who we are and where we stand in the world, illuminating the themes on which all our lives and livelihoods depend. The Silk Roads, a major reassessment of world history, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting--as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden--sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.
Release on 2009-03-16 | by Christopher I. Beckwith
A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present
Author: Christopher I. Beckwith
Pubpsher: Princeton University Press
The first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Empires of the Silk Road represents a fundamental rethinking of the origins, history, and significance of this major world region. Christopher Beckwith describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In addition, he explains why the heartland of Central Eurasia led the world economically, scientifically, and artistically for many centuries despite invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and others. In retelling the story of the Old World from the perspective of Central Eurasia, Beckwith provides a new understanding of the internal and external dynamics of the Central Eurasian states and shows how their people repeatedly revolutionized Eurasian civilization. Beckwith recounts the Indo-Europeans' migration out of Central Eurasia, their mixture with local peoples, and the resulting development of the Graeco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations; he details the basis for the thriving economy of premodern Central Eurasia, the economy's disintegration following the region's partition by the Chinese and Russians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the damaging of Central Eurasian culture by Modernism; and he discusses the significance for world history of the partial reemergence of Central Eurasian nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Empires of the Silk Road places Central Eurasia within a world historical framework and demonstrates why the region is central to understanding the history of civilization.
Covering five thousand years of history and delving deeply into the archives the British Museum and other famous collections of art and antiquities, this fascinating tour of a storied trade route introduces readers to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this legendary trail. (History)
A History of the Great Trading Routes Between East and West
Author: Geordie Torr
Pubpsher: Arcturus Publishing
For millennia, the silk roads have been the arteries of international trade. Today, these ancient routes still play a key role. Over the ages, the passages across the region have shifted and evolved due to changing political circumstances, environmental forces, and the prevalence of deadly illness. Despite this, the ceaseless flow of goods and culture between East and West has continued unabated. Taking us back to the origins of these enduring networks, Geordie Torr describes the beginnings of early trade, the ancient cultures that breathed life into these routes, and the mighty dynasties which rose to exert control before fading into the sands of time. The trade that took place along these roads led to exchanges in art, culture, and technology; as the delicate silks woven by the Chinese and Indians arrived in Europe, so wool, gold, and silverware travelled back to the Orient, while innovations in sea travel allowed the maritime routes to thrive. The stories of the first intrepid travellers who left behind the safety of their homelands to risk their lives in alien lands are scattered throughout the pages and highlight the basic human compulsion to explore. Featuring stunning photography that celebrates the natural beauty of the routes alongside artworks illustrating the incredible skill of craftsmen through the ages, The Silk Roads distils thousands of years of history into an accessible and fascinating tale.
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.
From the bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes an updated, timely, and visionary book about the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now--as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East. "All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing." So argues Peter Frankopan in this revelatory new book. In the age of Brexit and Trump, the West is buffeted by the tides of isolationism and fragmentation. Yet to the East, this is a moment of optimism as a new network of relationships takes shape along the ancient trade routes. In The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan takes us on an eye-opening journey through the region, from China's breathtaking infrastructure investments to the flood of trade deals among Central Asian republics to the growing rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. This important book asks us to put aside our preconceptions and see the world from a new--and ultimately hopeful--perspective.