The nobility in the Mediterranean, not knowing how to produce silk, was enthusiastic about this type of textile, and Roman writers lamented on the tremendous expenditure spent to buy foreign luxury goods as silk. Reisen in Hochasien und China Leipzig: Buddhism came to China along the Silk Road, but Buddhist missionaries also arrived across the sea. In the late 15 th century, the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, navigated round the Cape of Good Hope, thereby connecting European sailors with these South East Asian maritime routes for the first time and initiating direct European involvement in this trade. Religion and a quest for knowledge were further inspirations to travel along these routes.
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The Silk Road
The Roman purchase of silk and other Oriental commodities was so huge that contemporaries feared the drain of gold and silver to the Orient. Regarded as an extremely high value product, it was reserved for the exclusive usage of the Chinese imperial court for the making of cloths, drapes, banners, and other items of prestige. Knowledge about silk production was very valuable and, despite the efforts of the Chinese emperor to keep it a closely guarded secret, it did eventually spread beyond China, first to India and Japan, then to the Persian Empire and finally to the west in the 6 th century AD. Its popularity continued throughout the Middle Ages, with detailed Byzantine regulations for the manufacture of silk clothes, illustrating its importance as a quintessentially royal fabric and an important source of revenue for the crown. Silver, arriving to China from the west along the Silk Road, played an ever more important role in the Chinese monetary system. This is also true for the westernmost regions of China with the many oasis cities inmidst of a barren landscape. The routes were also fundamental in the dissemination of religions throughout Eurasia. The book catalogues of the Tang period record quite a few titles on Indian medicine. The process of travelling the Silk Roads developed along with the roads themselves.
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About the Silk Road
The mysteries of silk production remained secret to the Romans for long. These vast networks carried more than just merchandise and precious commodities however: People's Republic Taiwan R. Religion and a quest for knowledge were further inspirations to travel along these routes. Maritime routes were an important part of this network, linking East and West by sea, and were used for the trade of spices in particular, thus becoming known as the Spice Routes. National University of Singapore Press. Indeed, the man who is often credited with founding the Silk Roads by opening up the first route from China to the West in the 2 nd century BC, General Zhang Qian, was on a diplomatic mission rather than a trading expedition. Silk was such an important commodity that it even served as a kind of money in the western parts of China.
Description:They were only gradually displaced by European traders with their huge vessels in the sixteenth century. This luxury item was thus one of the early impetuses in the development of trading routes from Europe to the Far East. Even if one cannot speak of a real seclusion policy as in the case of Japan between and , the Ming dynasty carried out a trade policy in which the government was not involved, and for many decades even forbade naval trade at all. This narrative is the only one of its time that provides an East-Asian perspective on the Silk Road and on European ways and trade. The most important merchants trading with China were the Soghdians , many of whom lived for generations in the capital Chang'an and other cities in Tang China. Indeed, maritime trading links were established between Arabia and China from as early as the 8 th century AD.
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