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The silk
road: A trade route that changed history as we know it forever. This road/trail
was a spider web of trade routes that spanned from China to Central Asia,
Westward, and eventually to Europe. The silk road was not just a road on land;
it was also road on the ocean. The peoples that lived alongside the silk road actually
did not call it that, they called it whatever the road to the nearest city was (Hansen,
2012). The path later became known as the silk road because of the abundance of
silk that was traded there.

In Afro-Eurasia the peoples who live there only had three types of
clothing: wool, animal skins, linen. Although, cotton was available in Egypt
and India, it was harder to make cotton so it was more money than silk at the
time (Bernstein, 2008). This made the silk trade extremely popular. Spanning
from the Mediterranean to India, the silk road made silk become extremely popular and the main product the
ruling class.

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Although, Silk
was not just used to make clothes. Silk was also used for objects such as:
fishing lines, bows, armor for war, and making clothes (Pollard, 2015). Silk
was a very coveted item. Everyone wanted it. This made the silk trade flourish
on the silk road and especially in china. Peoples also used silk, as well as
coins, to barter. This encouraged maritime and long distance land trade. After
sometime, Peoples did not just trade on land, they also used ships to trade
with Europe. This new trade route reinforced new government polities, produced
new societal classes, formed new city locations, and carried Buddhism and
Hellenism way beyond where they were created from.

Although,
what was mostly traded there was silk, there were numerous items peoples
exchanged on the road. Such as: religions, philosophies, Textiles, Coral,
Glassware, Horses, Slaves, Diseases, Incense, cultures, and currency. Easily
transported items such as glass beads were used as currency. Glass beads were
used as a statement for peoples that were powerful.

Additionally,
The Silk road made using textiles possible. When using silk as a textile it was
more sturdy, convenient and more useful for drawings than wood or bamboo. This
made silk textiles very popular. Peoples used cannabis paper for sacred texts and purple mulberry paper for
important documents and as a notepad (Grotenhuis, 2006). Texts made from silk
were put in tombs of the wealthy and upper-class lords.

 Many peoples that lived alongside the
silk road actually did not engage in trade at all. Many of them were  . The silk road essentially was not a road; it
was a dirt path that went over all kinds of different terrain.

One of the
religions that the silk road influenced greatly was Buddhism. Caravans facilitated the spread of Buddhism. Peoples sometimes
journeyed on the Silk Road in search of a higher power rather than trading or
personal wealth (Davis, 2006). Monks would travel the silk road and spread
their new religions. This made Buddhism widespread in the Afro-Eurasian part of
the silk road but, less widespread in the Western part because Christians were
preaching there. If the silk road did not exist; China would not be the way, we
know it today.  

One of the
ways peoples traveled the silk road was by using caravans. Many caravans consisted
of camels because camels could. Caravan cities (such as Petra) connected the Mediterranean
Sea with the incense and silk trade paths of Afro-Eurasia. Petra and Palmyra
had major trade ports. Boats carried olive oil, glasses, wine, and linen up the
Nile river. 

Many peoples
that lived alongside the silk road had a genetic disorder called Behcet’s
disease. This disease caused mouth and genitals ulcers, eye and blood vessel
inflammation, joint swelling and pain, and brain inflammation. This disease was
caused by a gene that many people had that lived alongside the silk road. This
disease was not the only illness that traveled the silk road.

The silk
road also shaped how people nowadays trade with each other. It took trade to
the sea. This was a pivotal moment in history because we still use the ocean
for trade nowadays. With the ocean now used for trade the silk road could now
span from Afro-Eurasia to Europe. The trade route expanding to Europe aided in
the extreme spread of the bubonic plague.

Many nomads
of Inner-Eurasia rode horses. This made long distance trade achievable.

The bubonic
plague was spread throughout the silk road. This is where the black plague
originated. Some people thought that that the plague epidemics were caused by pest-ridden rats in
Afro-Eurasia (Sarchet,2015). This plague killed more than 4,119 people in
Afro-Eurasia. The camel’s nomads used to travel along the silk road could have
caught fleas and given them to their owner. This plague would eventually spread
across the ocean to effect more people.

The Mongols
were a group of people who were barbarians. The Mongols would kill anyone in
their way including pregnant women and the unborn. They created a sense of fear
that they stirred up carefully. When they conquered a city they would pile up
all the corpses in order to convince other cities to surrender (Frankopan,
2015). This tactic helped the Mongols become pioneers of the silk road.

The Kushans
were a nomadic group that was very powerful on the silk road. They adopted
Greek as their language. The Kushans rode horses which became a very sought
after item for the rich. The Kushans and the Mongols were nomads. The constant
moving about made their immune systems very good. They became immune to most
pathogens because they were exposed to so many microbes on the silk road. The
Kushans were illiterate but implemented Greek as their language (Pollard,
2015). Their rule stabilized the silk road and helped it stretch from the east
to the west. The Kushans and the Mongols were pioneers of the silk road.

The legacy
the silk road left is a major one. The silk road shaped how the world is today.
It took trade across land and sea. It also brought different religions,
diseases, art, Technology, cultures, and philosophies throughout Afro-Eurasia
and onward. The silk road also aided in the spreading of the bubonic plague,
which killed millions of people across Afro-Eurasia and Europe. However, the
Kushans and the Mongols were pioneers of the Silk Road. The silk road was truly
a monumental invention.

In conclusion
the researcher found that the silk road was a key factor in developing the
world as we know it today. The silk road spread religion, philosophy, art,
ideas, and diseases. The silk road was essentially the main artery of
Afro-Eurasia.   

 

 

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