Between the years of 200 BCE and 1450 CE, the Silk Road went through a number of changes. With the rise and success of the ancient empires the trade route thrived and was the main trade route connecting the Mediterranean to China. As the empires collapsed so did the use of the Silk Road as it became unprotected and unsafe for use. With the Mongol empire in 1200 CE the Silk Road had a temporary revival, but when the Mongolian Empire collapsed the use of Silk Road did as a permanent switch to the Indian Ocean Network was made.
Around 200 BCE the Roman, Han and Gupta empires were established and expanded. The Silk Road began in the East in Changan, went through Mongolia and Turkestan, then through the Takalamakan Desert. It then expanded southeast to India or central Asia and then Eastern through the Roman Empire. Trade routes were traveled in stages from city to city through the empires. The invention of the camel saddle made it easier for merchants to transport their goods with efficiency.
Heavy use of the Silk Road began in 300 BCE as goods were traded and ideas were spread. Silk, cotton, spices, pearls, ivory and coral were traded east to west along the Silk Road. Glassware, bronze, linen, and olive oil were traded East to West. Ideas such as Buddhism moved along this route as well as the spread of disease such as smallpox and the plague. Diseases were one of the many reasons of the fall of the ancient empires. At the collapse of these empires around 600 CE the Silk Road was left unprotected and many merchants ventured from the Silk Road. With the invention of new navigational technology such as fore-and-aft rigging, the dhow and the junk many merchants went to the Indian Ocean Network.
Around 1200 CE the Mongolian Empire came to power. Through conquest they came to control most of Asia and their armies protected the overland trade routes. This led to a temporary revival of the Silk Road. When the Mongolian empire collapsed around 1400 the Silk Road was...
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