Silk Roads and China, Ancient and Medieval Transformations
The Silk Roads are the oldest and longest routes of cultural communication and economic exchange connecting Asia, Europe and Africa. In use since the days of Alexander the Great, the Roads and its rail networks now extend from China to England, connecting 70 countries and forming a vital system. This course introduces the ancient to early modern histories, cultures, and religions of the Silk Roads anchored in four themes: Alexander’s empire; life in medieval cities of Chang’an, Baghdad and Constantinople; Silk Roads religions and the interactions of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam; and the Mongol empire visited through the travels of Marco Polo. Instructor: Mazumdar. One course.