Unit 2 Chapter 12 The Silk Road

Chapter 12: CrossCultural Exchanges on
the Silk Roads
Standard: 2.1
My favorite Han
movie ever
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmFlgCB9F2Q
Zhang Qian Father of
the Silk Road
• Crossed N. of Tibet into the
Ferghana Valley in 128 BCE
• Captive of the Xiongnu for
10 years
• Sent by Emperor Han Wudi
• Opened the silk road
through information
Challenging how we
• Assume that sources are
correct and Zhang Qian’s
mission took him in search
of trade to the west.
• Why do we learn in our
history textbooks that the
East, specifically China is
historically closed off to
Where did it go? What
was it?
What 2 things made the
silk road a possibility?
Learning with Primary
Source Documents:
• Working with your assigned group read the document
and highlight the following:
• Types of items traded
• Who is trading the items
• Special directions for diplomats/merchants
• Prepare to share a synopsis of your document with the
class as we discuss what people who traveled the road
were writing about.
Hellenistic Trade
• Seleucids and Ptolemies both
maintained land and sea routes
• In Egypt the Ptolemies built up
Alexandria into the greatest sea
port of the time to support the
• Egyptian, Indian, Roman,
mariners learned to use the
monsoon winds in the Indian
What was traded on
the Silk Road?
• Better Question, what
• China’s most valuable
export – silk
• Created Oases towns
• Encompassed sea lanes
• Required in-depth
knowledge of trade and
monsoon winds
Why were spices such a
big deal?
• Condiments
• anesthetics,
• Drugs
• Aphrodisiacs
• Perfumes
• Magic potions
India – Man in the
• Emissaries traveled to Rome
and China and received
Roman and Chinese
• Acted as expert mariners
• Romans set up a few
colonies in India
• Mauryan & Guptan empires
provided regional stability
How far did
merchants go?
• No specific number but
generally travel was
accomplished in “legs”
• Individuals became expert
seamen on certain routes
Camels… who knew?
• Dromedary Camel
• From Middle East & N.
• 1 hump
• Bactrian Camel
• From China & Mongolia
• 2 humps
Look it up
• Name the Ruling dynasty’s of China in
• First person with the correct answer gets
5 points extra credit on the next quiz.
How did the Han
• 206 BCE
• 24 successive rulers
• Capital @ Chang’an
• Feudalism w/centralized
hierarchy (Jun – similar to a state each had a governor, military
commander, and an imperial
• Significant population growth
(maybe triple!)
• Paper, the rudder, compass,
porcelain, seismograph 365 day
• Empress Lu Zhi (1st emporer) ruled
through her infant son for 16 years
• Civil service exams on Confucian
• Wu Ti (141-87 BCE) – greatest emperor
Larger than Rome
Repelled the Xiongnu
Sent Zhang Qian to the Xiognu to open
up the Silk road
Adopted Confucianism
Strong central government
• Ruled w/the Mandate of Heaven
• Great wall of China
Highlights of
• Hierarchy led by virtuous
• Specific roles – li
• Adhering to one’s li ensures
stability by eliminating role
Spread of Buddhism &
• Where did Buddhism & Hinduism originate?
• How would it have spread to people in Iran, China,
• What helped propel Buddhism from merchants and
cosmopolitan city dwellers to regular people?
• Rate the importance of India’s religious contribution
and explain your rating.
Spread of
• Initially persecuted by the Romans,
later embraced
• By 2nd & 3rd centuries Christians
had fanned out over Roman roads
to prostheletize
• 3rd to 7th century Christianity was
one of the major religions of the
middle east
• Asian christians – ascetic tradition
• By 5th century there was a parting
between Nestorians (opposed Jesus
as divine) and Mediterranean (Jesus
divinity sacred tennant of faith)
Spread of
• Form of Zoroastrianism influenced
by Christianity & Buddhism
• Prophet for all humanity-syncretic
• Surpressed by Sasanid rulers
• Exterminated in the Mediterannean
in the 5th & 6th centuries
• Maintained along the silk road
much longer
Think this through –
make a bullet list of
your ideas
If all the major religions were propagated and
disseminated along the silk road, what does that
tell us about the merchants, tradesmen, and
travellers that traversed its paths?
The spread of
epidemic disease
• LIKELY culprits
• Measles, smallpox, bubonic
• Augustus took a census and
counted 60 million 1 AD
• Rome By 400 CE. 40 million
• China: 200 CE 60 million
• China: 600 CE 45 million
Look it Up w/a partner
• At what rate would a
normally increasing
population rise in 300
• Compare that to Roman #’s
and China’s #’s. What
does that tell you about the
severity of pathogens
carried along the silk road?
Why the Han fell
• Infighting coupled with
repeated nomadic invasions
• Elites used land ownership to
oppress the poor, the weak
central government meant the
local warlords were more
powerful and could do as they
• Epidemics and poverty caused
the yellow turban rebellion
among others
• Han generals usurped authority
8000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses,
150 cavalry horses!
Post han china
• Northern invaders became
• Confucian traditions lost credibility
because they hadn’t worked
• Rise of Daoism & Buddhism
• Daoism (salvation, health,
immortality through potions)
• Buddhism (popular with
• Buddhist temples helped the
poor giving them enormous
Fall of the Roman
• Barracks Emperors
• Too big to succeed
• Epidemics
• Diocletian’s
solution… 2 roman
empires, easier to
• Came to power after a huge
struggle when Diocletian died
• Sign in the sky, myth or truth?
• Same administrative problems
partially spurred on by epidemics
Germanic invasion
The Hun invasion
• Different type of invasion
because the goal was simply
pillage, not a takeover of
government or settlement
• They pushed even more
Germanic tribes deeper into
Roman territories
• This finished off the
western Roman empire, but
not the Eastern empire
How things change!
• Romans mixed with
Germanic people created
medieval Europeans
• 312 Edict of Milan – why
is it significant?
• Constantine converted to
• Christianity began to get
more street cred when
Augustine converged it
w/Greek Stoicism &
Plato’s works
The Canon
Christianity was
standardized and organized
in Eastern Roman territories
as well as in Western
• 5 bishops/patriarchs
• Lesser bishops
• Council @ Nicaea &
• The Pope, who was the
Crash course AP World History – Silk Road

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