This book describes the interactions between various civilizations and societies along the Silk Road between 500 BCE and 1500 CE, the period from the first encounters of ancient Greek and Persian civilizations to the time when maritime exchanges between Europe and Asia exceeded those on land.
Starting with the genesis and features of different civilizations, the book focuses on the history and exchange of different cultures along the Silk Road: Zhang Qian's successful pioneering feats which inaugurated the opening stretch of the Silk Road; the origins and dissemination of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, Nestorian-Christianity, and Islam; the westward spread of papermaking and printing; and long-distance exchanges of scripts and spoken language, music, architecture, painting, and sculpture. It also outlines the historically significant migrations of various peoples from east to west, such as the Xiongnu, Yuezhi, Han, Qiang, Hephthalites, Turkic groups, Uyghurs, Mongols, and Xibe.
The author has interwoven facts, anecdotes, and his own experiences of study throughout the book, making it a fascinating history reader and cultural primer. This book thus will be an essential read for students and scholars of Eurasian Studies and Chinese History and those who are interested in the history of the Silk Road in general.