[2015] 11 allsopp (Allsopp, Allsopp Period 2 (2016)): The Silk Road

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[2015] 11 allsopp (Allsopp, Allsopp Period 2 (2016)): The Silk Road

Silk Road

The Black Death The Black Death began in China over 2,600 years ago, far before the success of the Silk Road. This disease is spread by the fleas which attached themsleves to animals but most commonly rats, and then proceed to bite humans diffusing the infectous disease into their systems. Animals carried many of the Chinese goods transported on the Silk Road, inventions by the Chinese such as the stirrup contibuted to the use of horses and other animals which could've been carrying these fleas. The Mongols also contibuted to attracting rats and fleas through the use of their nomadic caravans. When Mongolian merchants traveled along the Silk Road they would leave a trail of garbage behind them which attracted the rats carrying the Black Death. This prompted many of the rats to follow them on their travels, and eventually spread to other nations.

The Effects of the Black Death The Black Death devestated Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Northern Africa. The Black Death spread from large ports and urban centers to smaller cities.

Other Diseases The Antonine Plague consisted of Smallpox and measles which spread throughout the Silk Road starting in Rome brought by soldiers. There were an estimated five million people who died from this plague. These diseases such as smallpox effected civilizations early on in about 2-3 C.E. Epidemics also effected trade because many people died who contributed to the making and selling of goods that fueled the economy.

Chrisitianity/ ZoroastrainismChristianity:Its greatest concentration was in the Mediterranean,where Roman roads and Silk Roads connected.Christian and Jewish communities sprung up along the Silk Road and were specifically prominent in Mesopootamia.Byzantine Empire proclaimed Chrisitanity as its official religion - This caused any other places trading with the Byzatines to become more interested in the religion and it spread through the trade route. Zoroastrainism:The Sasanid empire established the religion of Zoroastrainism and they used their involvement in trade to spread their new religion. Information including both: Missionaries spread different forms of Chrisitanity and Zoroastrainism to travelers and merchants along the Silk Road.During this time period religion had started to become an important part of political and community identity allowing these religions to become popular faster because people were looking for faith. The mark of the establishment of these two religions sparked the ideas of others to create new religions and partially led to the creation of Islam.

BuddhismReligion at this time was less of a concern but trade had become increasingly more important to Central Asian life Nomads from the Altai mountainns spread across the steppes and the painting on their walls indicate their interest in Buddhism which was spread to the through the Silk Road. Buddhism originated in India and it went through Silk Road merchants to many places but it was most important in China. Most parts of it fit very well with Chinese culture and other parts did not but it still gradually mixed with Chinese culture. Mayana Buddhism consists of the different variations of Buddhism present in China Korea and Japan. Merchants became religious and stayed in monestaries on their travels-Monks began to pray for successful trade. Materials traded on the Silk Road became very important in Buddhist ritualsDunhuang is the city where the Silk Road splits into two branches. A large Buddhist community arose here and Buddhists built hundreds of caves and temples where the merchants would stop and stay in. They also created many libraries of religioius literature that helped spread the religion.

Manichaeism/HinduismManichaeism: A preacher named Mani founded the religion of Manichaeism in Mesopotamia. Missionaries were sent out to move across the Silk Road and spread the religion.Mani himself was a missionary himself and traveled along the Silk Road spread his faith. It was a popular religion among merchants. Communities appeared in all large cities and trading centers along the Silk Road. Hinduism: Hinduism was an impotant religion in India that was not accpeted in China like Buddhism was but it was accepted other places. It spread differently than the other religions because it was mostly spread along the Silk Road sealanes.

Early productsOne of the Silk Road's staple products was the production of a luxurious Chinese fabric called silk. Silk was uncommon during this time for only the weathiest people could afford to buy it. Chinese silk was popular in Asia and Europe, and at some points it became so popular many rulers wanted to ban the import of silk because too much of it was being purchased. There were other luxury prducts that spread throughout the Silk Road including ivory and salt from Sub-Saharan Africa. other products were also traded early on like foods ( nuts, and fruits) and exotic animals.

Diffuison of GoodsTechnological diffusion included the use of gunpowder. The spread of gunpowder was not only a technological advancement but also and advancement in weaponry. Another technological advancement spread through the Silk Road was the printing press, this had an influential effect on people throughout the world. Through the increased use of the printing press people from all different nations could access imporatnt texts, and increase the spreading of ideas. Also navigational technology like the compass was spread through the Silk Road, icreasing exploration and colonization.

Regional ContributionsImports from the west included exporting gold, glass, and silver as materials. Western exports also were most likely food items - varieties of seeds and plants (olive, cucumber, pomegranate, walnut, sesame and alfalfa).Asian and europeans brought rare animals, birds, plants, furs, medicines, spices, and jewelry to China.The Mongols increased trade on the Silk Roads and Ghengis khan spread the use of paper money throughout empires as well.

Works Cited -Bulliet, Richard W.etal. The Earth and Its Peoples. Boston Ma. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2011. Print. -Darity A. William, "Silk Road." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.Ed. 2nd ed. Vol. 7. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 511-512. U.S. History in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. -Li, Xiaoxiao. "Silk Road." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. -Major, John. Silk Road: Spreading Ideas and Innovations. Asia Society , 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.-Schlager, Neil. Lauer, Josh."The Silk Road Bridges East and West." Science and Its Times. Ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2001. World History in Context. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.-Wood, Frances. The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in Heart of Asia. Berkeley and Los Angeles California: University of California Press, 2002. Print.

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Primary Source:"Chapter IIIComparison of the weights and measures of Cathay and of Tana....At Tana...Wax, ladanum, iron, tin, copper, pepper, ginger, all coarser spices, cotton, madder, and suet, cheese, flax, and oil, honey, and the like, sell by the great pound.Silk, saffron, amber wrought in rosaries and the like, and all small spices sell by the little pound.Vair-skins by the 1000; and 1020 go to the 1000.Ermines by the 1000; 1000 to the 1000.Foxes, sables, fitches and martens, wolfskins, deerskins, and all cloths of silk or gold, by the piece.Common stuffs, and canvasses of every kind sell by the picco [approx. 28 in.].Tails are sold by the bundle at twenty to the bundle.Oxhides by the hundred in tale, giving a hundred and no more.Horse and pony hides by the piece.Gold and pearls are sold by the saggio [1/6 of an ounce]. Wheat and all other corn and pulse is sold at Tana by a measure which they call cascito [1/5 of a cantaro]. Greek wine and all Latin wines are sold by the cask as they come. Malmsey and wines of Triglia and Candia are sold by the measure.Caviar is sold by the fusco, and a fusco is the tail-half of the fish's skin, full of fish's roe." This source respresents the different prices merchant sold goods for based on what was more popular then, or of higher value at that time. It also gives us insight on how goods were presented to buyers.


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