A History of the Silk Road

Jonathan Clements

A History of the Silk Road

Jonathan Clements

Distributed for Haus Publishing

220 pages | 1 map | 5 x 8
Paper $16.95 ISBN: 9781909961371 Published September 2017 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
The Silk Road is not a place, but a journey, a route from the edges of the Mediterranean to the central plains of China, through high mountains and inhospitable deserts. For thousands of years its history has been a traveler’s history, of brief encounters in desert towns, snowbound passes and nameless forts. It was the conduit that first brought Buddhism, Christianity and Islam into China, and the site of much of the “Great Game” between 19th-century empires. Today, its central section encompasses several former Soviet republics, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. The ancient trade route controversially crosses the sites of several forgotten kingdoms, buried in sand and only now revealing their secrets.
A History of the Silk Road not only offers the reader a chronological outline of the region’s development, but also provides an invaluable introduction to its languages, literature, and arts. It takes a comprehensive and illuminating look at the rich history of this dynamic and little known region, and provides an easy-to-use reference source. Jonathan Clements pays particular attention to the fascinating historical sites which feature on any visitor’s itinerary and also gives special emphasis to the writings and reactions of travelers through the centuries.
 
Contents
1. The Invention of the Silk Road
Beginnings and Endings
Geography and Topography
Names and Naming
Barbarians, Minorities and the Historical Record
2. From the Tarim Mummies to the Early Han Dynasty (Prehistory to AD 6)
The Discovery of Silk
Moths and Worms
Horse-riders and Horse-traders
3. The Western Regions: From Han to Tang (AD 6-618)
Armies Reach Kashgar
Silk Reaches Khotan
Buddhism Reaches China
4. The Tang Dynasty (618-907)
Tripitaka
The Christians
The Jewelled Surnames
The Tragedy of Yang Guifei
5. The Uyghurs and the Mongols (907-1408)
Barchuq Switches Sides
Marco Polo
The Muslims
6. The New Frontier (1408-1912)
Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Kalmuks
Yaqub Beg and Kashgaria
The Tomb Raiders
7. Autonomy and Hegemny (1912-2012)
The Republic of China
The ‘Republics’ of Xinjiang
The People’s Republic of China
Whose Song is it Anyway?
8. The Silk Road Today
Ecology and Erosion
Religion and Races
Tourism and Tradition
History and Heritage
 
Further Reading and References
Chronology of Major Events
Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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