Trade Routes


Paper instructions:
Agree or disagree to the 2 statements below. both responses must be written separately. in your response you must use 4 sources.

1. The Silk Road was formed of a network of land and sea routes. Many caravans and ships had successfully made their ways to Eurasia over the centuries. The trades that took place in the Silk Road were mostly long distance, causing changes in the political aspect of different societies like Egypt and Mesopotamia[1]. Thanks to the Silk Road china connected with the Mediterranean via central Asia and South Asia, which gave these civilizations the chance not only to trade their goods but introduce their religions and cultures to one another[2]. While many different kinds of merchandise traveled along the Silk Road, the name comes from the popularity of Chinese silk with the west, especially with Rome. The Silk Road routes stretched from China through India, Asia Minor, up throughout Mesopotamia, to Egypt, the African continent, Greece, Rome, and Britain[3].

Early civilizations have not always been thought of positively. Even by those who might seem to be major contributors. In other words, it was also about surviving, especially between the nomads and their surrounding area. Within the bounds of these civilizations, the necessity to transport goods, and information resulted in a system of roads, which lead to new ideas. Dr. Kathleen Cohen 2000
Robert Tignor, Jeremy Adelman, Peter Brown, Benjamin Elman, Xinru Liu, Holly Pittman, Brent Shawn. Worlds Together World Apart, a History of the World 3rd Edition Written by Joshua J. Mark, published on 28 March 2014

2. Trades routes during the Axial Age did more than facilitate the transfer of goods from one area to another, they also allowed the spread of ideas and allowed military conquest of new regions. Many empires funded road building projects. The Persian Empire constructed tens of thousands of miles of stone paved roads, with the Roman Empire, Incans and Qin/Han Dynasties nearly matching this feat1.These roads had a great impact on the civilizations they touched. New cultural ideas were being spread to larger areas than ever before. Although short lived, Alexander the Great’s conquests exposed new areas to the high Greek culture of Hellenism. It spread the along the trade routes, through the Mediterranean, into sub-Saharan Africa and parts of India2. Garrison towns further integrated peoples and cultures in south Asia (Greek) and central Asia (Han)3, along the Silk road.

Religious ideas also spread more easily along trade routes. The sub-Saharan kingdom of Meroe absorbed Greek values and worshiped Zeus and Dionysus4. A blending of cultures produced Mahayana Buddhism. Its promise of allowing all people, rich and poor alike, œ¦to move from a life of suffering into a happy existence.5, made it popular and it spread quickly. The Silk Road was especially influential in the spread of religion. Christianity, Buddhism and, later, Islam would propagate along that busy trade route6.

The advantages of increased mobility were numerous. The exchange of goods and ideas, philosophies and knowledge, enhanced the living conditions for many. The detriments were the loss of indigenous cultural identities by conquering nations and increased slave trade, particularly within the Roman Empire.


1. Robert Tignor, et al., Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: Volume One: beginnings through the Fifteenth Century, 4th ed., (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), 215,216

2. Ibid., 207, 210

3. Ibid., 214, 254

4. Ibid., 210

5. Ibid., 224

6. Asia Society, Belief Systems Along the Silk Roads, Accessed July 9, 2014,,0

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