The Silk Road Networks of Communication & Exchange Chapter 7
Zhang Jian (Jang-Jee-en) • 2nd Century BCE • “father of the Silk Road” • Sent to make alliance with western groups • Taken prisoner for 10 years • Escapes and makes it back to Changan with stories of “heavenly horses” • Made 18 trips
Road? & Silk? • More than 1 route • All started in Chang’an, China • Romans had high demand for silk; purchased it from Parthian traders in Mesopotamia, followed by Sasanids in Iran in 3rd century • Gold, ivory, exotic animals, plants, & RELIGION!
Buddhism • Han emperor Mingdi sent rep to India to learn more • Faxian – pilgrim from China • Went to Gupta India • Travel account • Evidence of huge Buddhist influence back to China
Attacks • Tibetan bandits (& others) • Han Dynasty added 300 miles to Great Wall for protection of routes through Gobi Desert • Added watch towers & used smoke signals