Review Of Silk Street Or Steppe Roads History Essay

Based on David Christian's "Silk Highway or Steppe Streets" and Robert Taafe's "The geographic setting up" how does ecological factors in the Silk Highway regions encourage trade?

Ecology researches the relationship between organisms and their environments. Therefore ecological factors in the Silk Street regions include the study of geographic setting up, climate conditions, natural areas of Inner Asia, place and dog ecosystems which could be treasure ecological resources encouraging the trade across the silk routes.

Though elements of the Silk Road regions are included in arid area including the mountains, tundra and deserts; the predominant weather condition is long winters throughout Inner Asia. However, because of the continental environment, low evaporation among tundra, higher intensity of solar radiation and evaporation make such areas abound with original fruits such as lovely honey-dew melon, green grape, pomegranate and mountain products etc. Many of these fruits become the commodities created to China, and hill trade was popular in those days. Meanwhile having the politics or armed service control of an oasis of desert areas has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular silk course.

Besides tundra and desert areas, forest, steppe, grasslands zones also cover on the list of Silk Roads locations which provide suitable environment and multi-resources for the deals. The forest area across the Silk Roads is the relatively damp area which may be split into four major physiographic parts; in the mean time this area is packed with forest and creature resources, for example, fir, spruce, pine, hair, timber and many species of large and small, fur-bearing animals. Furthermore, the interior Asian steppe areas covered with rich grasslands stretch out across Kazakhstan, northern part of Xinjiang and Mongolia. Analysis found that many great nomadic empires, for case, Xiongnu, Mongols and Turks depended on the herding (camels, horses, sheep) for success. This is because steppe zones could provide considerable and easily implemented fodder because of their pastoral nomadic. This could indirectly show that why trader used camels, horses as their mechanisms across the Silk Roads.

In conclusion, we're able to easily find that there were a big amount of woodland and steppe land goods exchanged along the Silk Roads. In the mean time, many flourished places were emerged at the corners of the steppes or trans-ecological trade routes.

b) Write one article of about 300 words in answer to one of the following questions:


Based on Xinru Liu's section 3 "The Kushan Empire and Buddhism" in her publication The Silk Highway in World Background what are the characteristics of what she conditions "Kushan Buddhism"? In the opinion, will it really make sense to utilize this term?


Based on David Christian's "Point out formation" and Nicola Di Cosmo's "Those who sketch the bow" in Old China and its Enemies for what reasons and by which means performed nomads attempt the forming of empires?

There are some reasons inducing nomads to attempt the forming of empires. Firstly, ecological poverty makes nomadic neighborhoods more delicate than agricultural areas in terms of their overall economy, demography and political conditions. Secondly, lack of ethnic check of pastoralist society development and over-population on limited pastures exacerbates the instabilities of hunter-gatherer societies. Finally, weighed against nomads' neighbouring countries especially China, which includes vast territory and considerable resources. Pastoralist areas discovered that raiding, continuous jostling and warfare with such neighbours could easily get the expansion of their region of steppe land even to the agriculture regions and seize more resources in short time. Meanwhile, some new techniques released by the extra products trend, for example, ways to journey or use the large livestock to attract ploughs and wagons, employ the hair and feather, dairy and bloodstream from living livestock, provided conditions for the formation of empire. Moreover, nomads are skilled at using, hunting, and firing that could become an huge military electric power in the next forming empire processes.

Nomads attempt the forming of the empires through the means by different levels. The easiest level is the Parental Group consisting of a family device and it shares a dwelling. Then several related parental communities travelling along organise the Camping Group which build the Reproductive Group again within50-500 individuals. The first three levels might become the base of Tribes, whose leadership predicated on kinship ties or face-to-face relationships and they're often for military defence purpose. At the moment, a small military is formed. By using the military skilled army to seize resources, the military become better and tribes collaborate into Supra-tribal Associations. With the amount of the great mass increase, short-term supra-tribal leadership is replaced by stable political set ups and bureaucracy, more resources and prestige goods are received from agricultural parts. Finally, Nomadic Empires are founded.


Based on Xinru Liu's chapter 5 "Changing the Eurasian Silk Market" and materials of your own choice what was the role of spiritual institutions and values in promoting trade over the Silk Road?


Based on Xinru Liu's section 1 "China appears West" and on material on trade, how could you evaluate the Chinese language effect on the Silk Road parts and on the trade conducted in these locations? Was it decisive?


Based on Xinru Liu's chapters 1 and 6 "The Mongols and the Twilight of the Silk Street" what were the hazards and the opportunities which the Silk Road parts presented for China?

Part B (worth 10 %)

Give correct answers around one phrase to each of the following questions:

How would you characterize the partnership between oasis dwellers and nomads?

They were often related by the battle and economical activities: nomads pillage oasis dwellers or make sure they are become vassal says for food and riches; meantime, because of the movement and ethnic fusion nomads could also provide oasis dwellers the necessary raw materials for artisan industry and other goods.

What is meant by "trans-ecological exchanges"?

Trans-ecological exchanges imply the exchanges on the list of multi-ecological and geographic environment which include the swap between the different natural areas of Inner Asia encompassing climatic factors, soils, vegetation as well as aspects of water and pet resources.

What is the characteristic vegetation of steppe areas?

Depending on the season and latitude, the moister wooded steppe areas are covered with shrubs, deciduous trees and merged forests or grasslands on the list of continuous belts; as the drier or semi-desert steppe zones are protected of the turf, shrubs or both.

Where is Gandhara situated geographically and what is its relevance for Silk Street (and Chinese) record?

Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River; the Silk Streets made the oral cavity of the Ganges River and the western coast of Gandhara become prosperous trade markets, besides Gandhara experienced become the copy train station for trading the Chinese language silk, lacquer battle, Southeast Asia spices, Roman glass, linen goods and other trade goods across the Silk Streets.

Why were caravans favored by merchants travelling over the Silk Road in Silk Street times?

Because caravans could take food, water, goods, towel, tools and such varieties of necessary items, as well as providing safety against bad weather.

Who was Xuanzang (also transcribed as Hsјan-tsang)?

Xuanzang was a renowned Chinese language Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who journeyed to India to review Buddhism, frequented important religious sites and collected Buddhist texts and artifacts in the early Tang period.

What is Manichaeism?

Manichaeism is one of the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia by prophet Mani who feels an elaborate cosmology talking about the struggle between a good, religious world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness; Manichaeism was brought by Sogdians to China and the traces of it are found in Fujian Province.

In Silk Road times, what factors could contribute to the decay of the oasis city?

There are some factors may contribute to the decay of any agriculture founded oasis city: firstly, continuous war demolished a whole lot of oasis and grasslands; second of all, the eco-environment was ruined not only by warfare, but also the pressure from the success of commercial and transport activities; finally, the heavy duty form the Persian empire and last but not least the exploration of new maritime traffic road take the place of silk road steadily; fourthly, the disintegration of the Mongol Khanates alongside the discovery of sea routes from Europe to Asia in the 15th century disrupted the overland Silk Highways in elements of Central Asia oasis towns.

Who are the Uighurs?

The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group moving into Eastern and Central Asia, which in the beginning refers to a small coalition of Tiele tribes, then later denoted citizenship in the Uyghur Khaganate and lastly expanded to the ethnicity including Turkic and Tocharian.

In Silk Road times, what made silk such an ideal commodity?

Because in those days, the people in India, southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Rome went overboard about silk products, typically cloth.

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