Exchanges on the Silk Road

Topics: Silk Road, Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty Pages: 3 (724 words) Published: November 19, 2013

Exchanges on the Silk Roads

After the fall of the Mauryas, the Kushan kingdom became the main political force in northern India. They were located across the main trade routes, and the Kushans prospered on the trade that was happening in that area. That area of trade and exchange was known as the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a trade route located between the Roman Empire and China, which also had a section that passed through the mountains northwest of India. From that area, goods where shipped through the Persian Gulf or the Read Sea, and finally arrived at Rome.

Trade between India and Europe expanded during the first century when sailors mastered how to navigate in the Indian Ocean. Trade between the Mediterranean Ocean and the Indian Ocean was difficult and sometimes profitable, but it developed the establishments of many small trading settlements along the Indian coast. The Romans would import ivory, indigo, textiles, precious stones, and pepper from India and silk from China. Rome would also export silver, wine, perfume, slaves, glass, and cloth from Egypt. In all, it looks like Romans imported more than what they sold to the Far East.

The Silk Road was an outlet for technology, goods, and ideas. Chinese technology was introduced to the West because of the Silk Road. China had four great inventions. They invented papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and compasses, which they exported to the West. In the Han Dynasty, China had control on the silk trade because they would keep the silk’s production technology a secret. It was not until the 12th century that Western Europe learned about their production technology. China’s ability of silkworm breeding and silk spinning greatly sped up the development of the entire world.

Besides technology, religions were also introduced to China through the Silk Road. Because of both, the economical and political changes between the East and the West, religions of the West were introduced into China by the Silk...
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