Abstract

The Silk Road is commonly used as a convenient blanket term to describe the many trade routes and points of contact that criss-crossed Central Asia. The term is generally overused, to the point that everything in the history of the region is conceptualized within the confines of the Silk Road(s). By reading Greco-Roman and particularly Chinese sources on the contacts between the eastern and western termini of the Eurasian continent, this article demonstrates that the Silk Road is not only a nineteenth-century name but, indeed, a modern historiographical invention, serving to lump together individual histories and creating long-distance connections where they never existed. It is proposed that for a more productive study of Central Asian history, we must do away with the notion of the Silk Road and notice the realities, to consider individual socioeconomic systems and their peculiarities.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1548-226X
Print ISSN
1089-201X
Pages
pp. 420-433
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-13
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.