(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) The Challenges that Confronted Merchants Along The Silk Road The Tang Dynasty was one of the most glorious, prosperous and powerful kingdoms in Chinese history and was at its peak from 618 to 906 AD. It was also during this time that China opened its doors to the world, thus welcoming diverse people of diverse cultures such as “traders of Persia, priests of Rome, sailors of Arabia, students of Japan, Buddhist and Islamic scholars,” and many others (The Great Tang Dynasty)…
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Merchants and traders both traveled and did business on the Silk Road and faced numerous challenges that always confronted them. Harsh Weather Conditions One of the more obvious challenges that merchants faced along the Silk Road was the harsh weather conditions. In fact, the Silk Road is surrounded by the Taklimakan Desert, whose severe and hostile climate would cause temperatures to soar to as high as 50 degrees Celsius in the summer or fall to as low as minus 20 degrees in the winter. Aside from this, strong winds brought about numerous dangerous sandstorms in the Taklimakan Desert (Mon). Moreover, the Taklimakan Desert had fewer oases than the neighboring Gobi Desert (Wild). Lastly, clouds of dust and silt may blow with the wind and persist for days (Wood 16). Wars and Conflicts There were numerous routes along the Silk Road, and because of this, “The issues caused by the development of the route included invasion and robbery by nomadic tribes and increased merchant costs” (What is the History of the Silk Road?). the increased merchant costs were necessary as the need for escort and protection increased through the years. Based on the account of a robbery as retold by the Sogdian merchant Nanaivandak, a number of his fellow merchants who wandered along the routes in smaller groups were ambushed, robbed and killed by bandits (Whitfield 48). There was indeed a great risk of traveling along the Silk Road in small groups as Central Asian bandits would often seize the opportunity to inflict harm on the merchants and steal their goods and kill them if they resisted. Besides, it was not only silk that was being traded along these routes but also “jewels, ivories, pearls…corals, diamonds…bronze ware, porcelains” whether being sold by merchants or carried home by them (The Great Tang Dynasty). These products from various parts of the world would be very attractive to all robbers and bandits of Central Asia. Disease According to William McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples, there was “diffusion of diseases via the Silk Road” (Rossabi). Even before the Black Death ravaged Europe, there may have already been several diseases that have come from Europe and which may have spread throughout China and Asia through the Silk Road. Nevertheless, there was little evidence on this. However, one of these diseases that may have spread through Asia through the Silk Road was Behcet’s disease. Behcet’s disease, which currently affects Far Eastern and Middle Eastern countries, may have come from Western Europe and affects 4 for every 1,000 people even now. Behcet’s disease is a vascular disease characterized by an overactivity of the body’s inflammatory immune response thus resulting in the destruction of blood vessels, severe mouth and genital ulcers, skin lesions and in severe cases, blindness (Disease genes that followed the Silk Road identified). According to medical experts, the genes for this disease may have come from the interactions of infected people along Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty. Negative Influences There was also an exchange of religious ideas along the Silk Road in addition to trading (Culture). However, this was the introduction of new religions to
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The routes, mostly stretching between the East and the West, linked different regions and countries of the ancient as well as the medieval world. Since the term, “Silk Road”, does not refer to any single route of communication, modern historians prefer ‘silk routes’ to ‘silk road’ in order to refer to the interstate or international commercial relation among the countries among countries of the ancient and the medieval world.
The land routes were later supplemented by the sea routes with the invention of sea technology. The area separating the China from the west is not a hospitable place as a majority of the land is occupied by the Taklimakan Desert (Franck 60). The desert is characterized by sand storms, little vegetation and rainfall.
The author states that there were numerous commodities traded during these travels. Caravans moving towards China were loaded with ivory, gold, silver, glass, and precious gems. Even exotic foods, such as, pomegranates and carrots were traded to China. Similarly, China exported jade, bronze, iron, porcelain, and silk.
During early days, silk was also used as a writing material and manuscripts were written on silk cloth using it as a paper. China was in the forefront of silk trade and exported silk to many countries around the world. In fact silk was invented in China around 3000 BC.
But this is not the case for our early ancestors. The variety of land structures and presence of bodies of water have been a major problem during early times. In addition to such natural obstacles, there were also military
the influence of ecological factors in the development of culture, facilitating the study of the active interactions between ecological forces and human beings, and the identification of the causes of the stimulation of cultural exchanges and material trade along the Silk Road.
These cultural interactions happened to occur in regions of the Asian continent and other continents such as African continent. The main theme was to connect these regions by linking traders, monks, soldiers, urban dwellers, merchants, and pilgrims from different
With this concern, Chinese Silk Route is reckoned to be the earliest trade routes, which accelerated its growth from second century BC from Xian to Mediterranean. It covers the difference between the regions of east and
Presently, although the religion is mainly practiced in Asia and predominantly India, its influences are evident in other parts of the world. Buddhism’s greatest appeal, which also gives it a universal outlook, lies in its teachings of the four noble truths that explain suffering, unsatisfactoriness and anxiety.
Mainly, this extended even in the marriage whereby the female gender had the authority to define her ambitions and even plan whom to live with regardless of the men’s authority. This is because “divorce by mutual consent was still part of the legal code, and windows were allowed to remarry” (Whitfield 109).
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