History essay on The silk roads book. you can choose one of the documents on the file posted to base the essay on.

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Option A. 3-page essay

___ Three page essay (double spaced) using the small book The Silk Roads.

___ Develop one main point or theme based on the information and insights you gained from the book.

Here are three examples of themes that could work for this essay:

“The silk roads helped transform classical societies into postclassical societies.”

“Cultures connected on the silk roads, leading to new variations.”

“Just as the silk roads spread religions, religions strengthened the silk roads.”

(You can find more ideas for themes from The Silk Roads, page 174-175.)

___ In your first paragraph, introduce the topic you are covering and state your main point. Give the reader a basic overview of how you will develop your essay.

___ Develop your main point with specific information, insights and quotes from the documents. You will also find the introduction helpful, and also your textbook.

___ Instead of footnotes, simply mention where you got your material and give a page number (in parentheses). Tell a little bit about the sources you use, so we can see what perspective they offer.

___ Try to include about twelve short quotes or observations from the documents.

___ Please use short or medium-sized paragraphs.

___ In your conclusion, discuss how the readings can enrich our lives and add to our understanding of the world. You may also note if you found any of the writings particularly rewarding.

Option B. Reading Journal of 5 pages

The journal option is similar to the essay, except that you will be making several observations and reflections rather than developing one main point. Also, it is longer.

___ Consider how the documents help us understand major events and ideas in the introduction and also in our textbook. You may also consider how the textbook helps us understand the documents.

___ Comment on five to eight documents. Please put the title of the document in bold.

___ Write the journal in sections, with each section discussing a document or clump of documents.

___ Share your reflections on how the documents help us understand the world of the postclassical era as well as the world we live in today. You may relate the documents to prior knowledge or experiences.

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Reading Handout for The Silk Roads: A Brief History with Documents Describe some of the diversity of peoples and cultures that participated in the Silk Roads. During what time periods were the roads most heavily used? (1-3) Explain: “All these travelers transformed themselves at the same time that the transformed the places in which they settled.” (3) Why did a market system develop along the Great Wall of China? Who were the Xiongnu? (4-5) Why were the Xiongnu a problem? How did the Han keep peace? (7; Document 1) What did Zhang Qian learn in his trip to visit the Yuezhi? How did this motivate the Han emperor to develop trading networks? (5-6; Document 2; also in Chapter 12 of Traditions and Encounters) Why was it expensive to protect trade along China's western frontier? How did emperor Wudi solve this problem? (6; Document 3) What products did China get in exchange for silk during the Han era? Where did they come from? (7) How did Alexander and his men develop connections with Central Asia? (7-8; Documents 4 and 5) Why did Roman women love silk crepe? Why did Pliny think this was be a problem? (8; Document 6) Comment: “Roman knowledge of more distant countries, such as India and China, was still limited and vague.” (8; Documents 5, 6 and 8) How did Greek become the language of commerce in the eastern Mediterranean and Arabia? (8-9) Why were monsoons a key factor in trading from India to Arabia ? (9; Document 7) How did Greek speaking Romans make the most of trade opportunities with India? (9-10) Comment: “...what had begun in China as direct exchange of silk for horses had become, by the end of the second century CE, a vast trading network of luxury goods...” (10) Who were the Kushans? How did they an important influence on Bactria and northern India? (10-11) What contradictions did the Indo-Greek King Menander see in Buddhism? (11; Document 9) How do texts from the Kushan area reflect the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism? (Documents 10, 11) Comment: “Traders now worshiped the Buddha as a god and sought protections from various Buddhist deities when they came to northwestern India to trade in silk and gems.” (12) What do inscriptions on Buddhist monasteries tell us about the donors? (14; Document 12) How does the life of the Buddha compare with the lives of Buddhist monks in Kushan times? (14) In what way did Mahayana texts promote the trade of silk and gems? (14-15) In what ways were the oasis towns of Central Asia transformed by trade? What do we know about the roles of Buddhist monks in societies of the Takla Makan Desert? (15-17; Document 13) What do we know about the Sogdiana? How did they aid the spread of Buddhism? What do we know about the challenges faced by Sogdiana traders? (17; Document 14) What do the travel accounts of Faxian and Xuanzang tell us about the Buddhist societies they visited? (18; Documents 15 and 17; Xuanzang is profiled in Chapter 14 of Traditions and Encounters) Why did the Northern Wei (Mongolian dynasty in China) send pilgrims to Buddhist monasteries in Central Asia and India? What did the monks learn about the cultures they visited? (18; Document 16) How did Buddhist teachings change what people buried along with the deceased? (18; Document 18) How did the market for silk products change in the late Roman empire and Byzantine era? (19) Why were Byzantines eager to control silk production in their area? Why do historians doubt the story of silk worm eggs being smuggled from China? (20; Documents 19, 20 and 21) How did Justinian I use purple silk in his efforts to become leader of the Christian world. How was this effort related to the control of purple dye? (20-22; Document 21) What did the Chinese notice about foreigners in the early Tang era? Describe some of the diversity of religions seen in China in this era. (22-26; Documents 22, 23) In what ways was the Tang empire similar to the Byzantine empire at the other end of the silk roads? Why did China ban foreign religious institutions after the fall of the Tang dynasty? (25; Document 24) Explain: “Islam introduced a new set of aesthetic values regarding material culture.” (26) How did the market for textiles expand dramatically in the Muslim world? Why do you suppose silk tapestries and wool and silk carpets were especially popular? (27-28; Documents 26, 27) What do we know about Muslims living in southern China in the Tang era? (28; Document 25) Why did ship routes begin to replace overland trade routes around the tenth century? How did this change relate to the nature of the cargo being carried? (28-29) Describe some of the cultural dynamics seen in the ports of Cairo, Quilon, and Quanzhou? (29-30) What do accounts of traders from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea tell us about the cultures in the area in the tenth to thirteenth centuries? (Documents 28-34) Why do you think thirteenth century Italians had a hard time believing Marco Polo? (31; Doc. 33) ...
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School: University of Maryland

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The Silk Roads Helped Transform Classical Societies into Postclassical Societies.
The name silk road came from the lucrative trade of the Eurasia silk and horse trade. This
essay will cover the history of the silk roads and everything that is concerned with them. The silk
way, silk course, was an ancient system of trade paths that were being used to connect the areas
to the East and West extending through the to the Mediterranean Sea (Madsen 38). This is a
concept that denotes the earthly and the naval paths that linked Asia with Africa, Middle East,
and Southern Europe. The ancestor to the silk roads is the Steppe route that stretches through the
Eurasian steppe. This originally helped in the cultural interactions of the people. Also, the routes
taken by traders between Arabia, India, and China were referred to as silk roads. The main point
that will ...

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Anonymous
Thanks, good work

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