The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East , South , and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa . The land routes were supplemented by sea routes, which extended from the Red Sea to coastal India , China and Southeast Asia .
It is a convenient name for the Trans Asia trade routes. At one point it was viewed as a road along which silk from China was brought to Turkey and sold to Europeans. That is an overly simplistic and not terribly realistic view. It was not a single road but a number of interconnecting Caravan Routes over which trade was conducted. Additionally Sericulture only dates back a few thousand years the Silk Route is much older.
The Silk Road: Linking Europe and Asia Through Trade
The Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD
The Silk Road (or Silk Routes) is an extensive interconnected network of trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean world, as well as North and Northeast Africa and Europe. The term "Seidenstraße" (literally "Silk Road") was coined retrospectively by the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877 and has since found its way into general usage. It gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, which began during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), and was the major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive trans-continental network. In recent years, both the maritime and overland Silk Routes are again being used, often closely following the ancient routes.
The Silk Routes (collectively known as the 'Silk Road ') were important paths for cultural, commercial and technological exchange between traders, merchants, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from Ancient China, Ancient India, Ancient Tibet, Persia and Mediterranean countries for almost 3,000 years.
Extending 4,000 miles, the routes enabled people to transport goods, especially luxuries such as slaves, silk, satin and other fine fabrics, musk, other perfumes, spices, medicines, jewels, glassware and even rhubarb, as well as serving as a conduit for the spread of knowledge, ideas, cultures and diseases between different parts of the world (Ancient China, Ancient India, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean). Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, India, Egypt, Persia, Arabia and Rome, and in several respects helped lay the foundations for the modern world. Although the term the Silk Road implies a continuous journey, very few who traveled the route traversed it from end to end. For the most part, goods were transported by a series of agents on varying routes and were traded in the bustling mercantile markets of the oasis town