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Xuan Zang's 'The Silk Road Journey'

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Xuan Zang's 'The Silk Road Journey'
Xiao Jie Yang
History
9:30

The Silk Road Journey

The Silk Road is one of the oldest and longest trade routes known in the ancient world. Xuan Zang is the only person in history known to have made the whole journey from the Tang capital of Chang’an all the way to India and then back. However, his sixteen years, ten thousand mile journey is a huge sacrifice that brought culture, religion, ideas, and various commodities together and connected China to the rest of the kingdoms to the west. Xuan Zang, unsatisfied with the Chinese translations of the Buddhist text, decided to travel to India, to the origins of the Buddhist text. He went against the wishes of the Chinese emperor Taizong, and escaped by night to wild. Xuan Zang’s determination to seek the truth kept him alive throughout his sixteen year journey. On his journey to India, Xuan Zang visited numerous kingdoms, and was welcomed by the kings there. One specific king, the King of Turfan is so intrigued by Xuan Zang’s teaching that he tried to force Xuan Zang to stay, only relenting after Xuan Zang’s firm decision to leave or die from his hunger strike. He is given clothing, gold,
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The book also tells us that the majority of the kingdoms Xuan Zang visited are supported by agriculture with their fertile fields. Therefore, they are able to produce cotton, sugar, cream, honey, rice, and grapes, which can be used to make wine. Xuan Zang’s visit to the city of Samarkand opened up our eyes to a major trading city. It is here that hundreds of merchants come to trade goods from many countries. “Caravans with gems and spices coming from India converge with caravans carrying silk and ironware from China on their way west to Persia and beyond Rome (38).” It is here that not only commodities are being exchanged, but also ideas, religions, and

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