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06/06/2014

Get to know Ancient Silk Road

Silk Road in Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD)

When western Han Dynasty was in a powerful and prosperous period, in order to defeat the Hun (a powerful nomad in ancient China), the Emperor Wu Di (157-87 B.C.) sent Zhang Qian to go Darouzhi (a nomad migrated to Central Asia) to persuade them to join with Han to extirpate the Hun. Zhang Qian set off in 139 B.C. but he was arrested by the Hun and was in prison for ten years. After escaping from the Hun, he went on his journey to West Region, and at last he arrived in Balkh (Afghan now). He went back to Han in 126 B.C. This was the first time in history to send an official mission to West Region. Since then, the Emperor Wu Di began to encourage merchants to do business with merchants from West Region. On the one hand, this measure strengthened the material and cultural exchange between Han and West Region, on the hand, Han Dynasty got a big benefit from customs duty. Han even built government office to protect trades between Han and West Regions. But the Silk Road Silk Road travel was interrupted in 16 B.C because of the invasion of the Hun. The Silk Road was reopened after 58 years later. According to historical book, there was Roma diplomatic envoy that met the Emperor of Han Dynasty through Silk Road in 166 A.D. and established embassy.

Silk Road in Tang Dynasty (617-907)

With China entering into flourishing Tang Dynasty, the Silk Road attracted the attention of the emperor of Tang Dynasty. The east lines of Silk Road were open again and many new routes were opened up China travel deals. Besides, Eastern Rome Empire and Persia (Iran) were relatively stable at this time, the Silk Road once again moved toward peak period.

Unlike Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty controlled the areas of West Regions and Central Asia, and established stable and effective ruling order. Apart from Arabian traders, Indian became an important part of the east section of Silk Road. Relatively speaking, the financial performance of Tang was better than other dynasties in the past, so many kinds of products flowed into China through Silk Road. Commercial trade on Silk Road stimulated greatly Tang people’s desire to consume goods. The Silk Road was not only for products trade, but had cultural exchange gradually, and there were many advanced technology spread to other countries by different way, meanwhile, various religions entered into China. In Tang Dynasty, there were lots of diplomatic envoys and overseas students to study the culture and advanced technology, Japan in particular. In the eighth century, Japan dispatched diplomatic envoy to Tang Dynasty, at the same time, they took back lots of treasures from Tang. Besides, the largest religion Buddhism in Japan also came from Tang spread by Silk Road. A saying goes that Japan was the ending point of Silk Road.

tags: China tourism|travel to China

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