Many students unfamiliar with World History come to think of the Silk Roads as one road or literally a road made of silk. But it is not. The Silk Road can be thought of as a network of routes connecting the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia and Central Asia to China. These complex interconnecting routes included both land and sea routes. In fact, many goods reached Rome via the Mediterranean Sea. Along these routes, merchants would carry goods for trade. The goods being traded would often travel further than the merchant who was trading them. Goods would often times be relayed from merchant to merchant as they reached closer to their destination. As trade goes, each merchant would often times increase the original prices of the goods he was selling, as they needed to make profit. Although the Silk Road did not begin trade, it did in fact expand the means of what trading was all about. The single most important aspect of exchange on the Silk Road, was in fact what started it all… GOODS! Throughout this essay, three popular goods that were exchanged along the Silk Road will be discussed and how the trading of those goods helped change the lives of people for the better. Goods such as silk, paper, and jade. Good #1: Silk
As the name of the trade route implies, Silk was one of, if not the most important good that was traded along the Silk Road. First and foremost, Silk is spun from the cocoons of mulberry tree eating worms. Back in the days before Christ, Silk was only produced by China as they kept the silk making process and the techniques for raising the worms a closely guarded secret. The reason behind this being a closely guarded secret was because at this time, the majority of Chinas wealth came from silk production. According to author Xinru Liu, The Silk Road started seeing bartering action once Chinese Silks were traded to the west. The trade of Silk, if you will, started it all. If it were not for the luxury of Silk, it could be...
Bibliography: CrashCourse, [March 22, 2012] The Silk Road and Ancient Trade: Crash Course World History #9 [video] Retrieved April 20, 2014 from, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfe-eNq-Qyg
Liu, Xinru, The Silk Roads A Brief History with Documents (New York, 2012), 1
Oliver Wilde, “Silk Roads,“ (2012) accessed April 20, 2014. http://www.ess.uci.edu/~oliver/silk.html
Silk Road Foundation, “The History of Paper”, (1997-2000) accessed April 20, 2014, http://www.silk-road.com/artl/papermaking.shtml
Wood, Francis The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia (Berkley: University of California Press), 26-27.
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