Synopses & Reviews
Place names such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khotan and Chang'an continue to fascinate with the richness of their past. In this authoritative book, Luce Boulnois explores the encounter between East and West across the vast continental expanse that separates the Mediterranean world from the Chinese one. She unravels in a clear and compelling way the complex threads that make up the history of these great overland trade routes, which allowed the transmission across the world of ideas and beliefs, techniques and works of art, helping to shape civilisations that flourished along the way. How did the Romans, following in the footsteps of the Greeks, discover these far-flung regions? What did the Chinese know of the European world? How did they manage to keep the secret of silk manufacture safe for centuries? Did Marco Polo really go to China, or was he just a clever impostor? In navigating through these questions Boulnois enlightens us about the relationships between the East and the West and their influence on each other in the light of recent archeological discoveries, while also taking into account the recent geopolitical upheavals that have swept through these regions.
- The only comprehensive historical survey also providing travel itineraries and accompanying practicalities
- Written by an internationally renowned authority on the Silk Road who has spent a lifetime researching and writing on this subject
- Suggested travel itineraries, advised by Central Asian expert, Bradley Mayhew
- Listing of selected museums around the world where Silk Road treasures may be viewed
- Extensive bibliography
- Beautifully illustrated and with numerous maps
To the modern reader, the Silk Road conjures up images of fabled cities and exotic lands, of long-gone empires and great conquerors.
About the Author
World-renowned French historian Luce Boulnois (deceased) researched Chinese and Russian archives to unravel the Silk Road's mysteries.Helen Loveday has a BA in Chinese and a PhD in Chinese archeology from Oxford University. Following time spent in Central Asia, she became attracted by Iran and began studying Farsi, the national language. She is interested in the Islamic architecture of ancient Persia and Sino-Iranian cultural exchanges. She currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where she is a curator of the Baur Collection museum.