Silk Roads - BUFORD WHAP

Robert W. Strayer!
Ways of the World:
A Brief Global History
First Edition
Commerce and Culture
Copyright © 2009 by Bedford/St. Martin’s
Silk Roads: Exchange
across Eurasia
•  Linked pastoral (northern) and
agricultural (southern) peoples
•  None knew the full extent of the
network’s reach, it was ‘relay trade’.
Growth of Silk Roads
•  What lay behind the emergence of Silk
Road Commerce, and what kept it going
for so many centuries?
Growth of the Silk Roads
•  Pastoral peoples traded with and raided
agricultural people to the south
•  These movements diffused languages, horse
based technologies
•  Xiongnu, Uighurs, Mongols
•  Silk Road trading networks prospered most
when large and powerful states provided
security for merchants and travelers
–  Byzantine Empire
–  Abbasid dynasty
–  Tang Dynasty
Goods in Transit
•  What made silk such a highly desired
commodity across Eurasia?
•  What were the major economic, social,
and cultural consequences of Silk Road
Goods in Transit
•  Most were luxury goods rather than staple
•  Only readily moved commodities of great value
could compensate for the high costs of
transportation across such long and forbidding
•  High demand for silk, but also cotton from India
•  By 6th century, silk making knowledge had left
China, into Korea, Japan, India, and Persia
Cultures in Transit
•  What accounted for the Spread of
Buddhism along the Silk Roads?
Cultures in Transit
•  Silk Roads were a conduit of culture
•  Buddhism spread because of merchants along the silk
•  Was preferred due to its universal message to that of
Brahmin dominated Hinduism
•  Duhuang Caves
•  Merchants felt they could earn religious merit by building
•  Buddhism changed
–  Became involved with secular affairs
–  Mahayana=Buddha is a diety and merit can be earned
–  Western side shows Greek influence statuary
•  Christianity in the East=Nestorian
Disease in Transit
•  What was the impact of disease along
the Silk Roads?
Disease in Transit
•  People were exposed to unfamiliar diseases
–  Athens, Rome, Han
•  Paradoxically, these strengthened the appeal of
Christianity and Buddhism.
•  Intermittent outbreaks ravaged Mediterranean brought by
–  Constantinople: 534, ended expansion
–  10,000 people a day, 44 days
•  Later, (1300’s) the Mongol empire prompted the spread
–  Impacted economy, allowed poor farmers to demand wages
•  This also allowed the dominance of the West as they went
to America due to acquired immunity.
Sea Roads:
Exchange across the Indian Ocean
•  Weaving the Web of an Indian Ocean World
•  Sea Roads as a Catalyst for Change: Southeast
Asia and Srivijaya
•  Sea Roads as a Catalyst for Change: East Africa
and Swahili Civilization
Sea Roads
•  How did the operation of the Indian
Ocean trading network differ from that
of the Silk Roads?
Sea Roads
•  Ships could accommodate larger and
heavier cargo
•  All items included
•  Understanding monsoons,
accumulating technology of shipbuilding
and oceanic navigation
–  Compass
–  Dhow
–  Junk
Weaving the Web of an Indian
Ocean World
•  Early ventures hugged the coast
•  Malay sailors went to Madagascar in
open water
–  Brought Bananas to Africa
•  Other merchants spread culture
–  Christians in Ethiopia and S. India
•  India was the fulcrum
•  What lay behind the flourishing of Indian
Ocean commerce in the postclassical
Third Wave civilizations
Tang and Song China (618-1279)
China economy reemergence
Improved technology
Islam encouraged trade
First example of African slaves
–  Sent to Iraq by Arabs
Sea Roads as a Catalyst for
change: Southeast Asia and
•  What is the relationship between the
rise of Srivijava and the world of Indian
Ocean commerce?
•  Malay kingdom controlled Strait of
–  Large amounts of goods
–  Charged a toll to pass
•  Hindu and Buddhist influences
–  Borobudur
–  Angkor Wat
Sea Roads as a Catalyst for
Change: East Africa and
Swahili Civilization
•  What was the role of the Swahili
civilization in the world of Indian Ocean
•  Somalia to Mozambique
–  Lamu, Mombasa, Kilwa, Sofala
•  Bantu based languages
–  Eventually adapted Arabic writing
•  East African goods sought after
•  Great Zimbabwe
Sand Roads: Exchange across the Sahara
•  Commercial Beginnings in West Africa
•  Gold, Salt, and Slaves: Trade and Empire in West
Innovations in travel: Camel saddle
Gold and Salt trade
Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai
Cities of Timbuktu, Gao, Jenne
Conversion to Islam
Leaders: Sundiata, Mansa Musa
–  Visited by Ibn Battuta
An American Network: Commerce and
Connection in the Western Hemisphere
Chapter 8
Commerce and Culture, 500–1500
Map 8.1 The Silk Roads (p. 219)
Map 8.2 The Sea Roads (p. 226)
Map 8.3 The Sand Roads (p. 234)
Map 8.4 The American Web (p. 236)
Spot Map 8.1 Southeast Asia ca. 1200 C.E. (p. 229)
Spot Map 8.2 The Swahili Coast of East Africa (p. 231)
Travels on the Silk Road (p. 216)
Dunhuang (p. 223)
Borobudur (p. 230)
The Gold of Mali (p. 235)
Inca Roads (p. 237)