Author: Peter Frankopan
Release Date: 2016-02-16
“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian The epic history of the crossroads of the world—the meeting place of East and West and the birthplace of civilization It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. From the rise and fall of empires to the spread of Buddhism and the advent of Christianity and Islam, right up to the great wars of the twentieth century—this book shows how the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. Peter Frankopan realigns our understanding of the world, pointing us eastward. He vividly re-creates the emergence of the first cities in Mesopotamia and the birth of empires in Persia, Rome and Constantinople, as well as the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death and the violent struggles over Western imperialism. Throughout the millennia, it was the appetite for foreign goods that brought East and West together, driving economies and the growth of nations. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts. Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Hardcover edition.
As countries across Asia continue to rise and become more assertive global powers, the role that Higher Education has played, and continues to play, in this process is an issue of growing pertinence. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between Europe and Asia fostered by historical and contemporary knowledge transfer, including Higher Education, is crucial to analysing and encouraging the progress of both regional integration and inter-regional cooperation. With a specific focus on international Higher Education, European Studies in Asia investigates knowledge transfer and channels of learning between Europe and Asia from historical, contemporary and teaching perspectives. The book examines a selection of significant historical precedents of intellectual dialogue between the two regions and, in turn, explores contemporary cross-regional discourses both inside and outside of the official frameworks of the European Union (EU) and the Asia--Europe Meetings (ASEM). Drawing on extensive case studies based on many of his own teaching experiences, Georg Wiessala addresses key questions, such as the nature and construction of the European Studies in Asia curriculum; aspects of ‘values’, co-constructed learning and adult pedagogy in the discipline of European Studies in Asia; the politics of Asian host cultures, the ‘internationalization’ of Asian Higher Education and the experiences and expectations of tertiary sector students of this subject in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In doing so, the author articulates a range of outcomes for the further development of Higher Education cooperation agendas between Asia and Europe, in the discipline of European Studies, and in related fields such as International Relations. This case study-led book makes an original and novel contribution to our understanding of European Studies in Asia. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of Asian Education, Comparative Education, European Studies and International Relations.
Author: Jonathan Tucker
Release Date: 2015-03-12
Stretching from the ancient Chinese capital of Xian across the expanses of Central Asia to Rome, the Silk Road was, for 1,500 years, a vibrant network of arteries that carried the lifeblood of nations across the world. Along a multitude of routes everything was exchanged: exotic goods, art, knowledge, religion, philosophy, disease and war. From the East came silk, precious stones, tea, jade, paper, porcelain, spices and cotton; from the West, horses, weapons, wool and linen, aromatics, entertainers and exotic animals. From its earliest beginnings in the days of Alexander the Great and the Han dynasty, the Silk Road expanded and evolved, reaching its peak during the Tang dynasty and the Byzantine Empire and gradually withering away with the decline of the Mongol Empire. In this beautifully illustrated book, which covers the China section of the Silk Road - from Xian through Loulan, Korla, Turfan and Khotan to Kashgar and onwards to India - Jonathan Tucker uses travellers' anecdotes and a wealth of literary and historical sources to celebrate the cultural heritage of the countries that lie along the Silk Road and illuminate the lives of those who once travelled through the very heart of the world.
Author: James A. Millward
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2013-04-10
The phrase "silk road" evokes vivid scenes of merchants leading camel caravans across vast stretches to trade exotic goods in glittering Oriental bazaars, of pilgrims braving bandits and frozen mountain passes to spread their faith across Asia. Looking at the reality behind these images, this Very Short Introduction illuminates the historical background against which the silk road flourished, shedding light on the importance of old-world cultural exchange to Eurasian and world history. On the one hand, historian James A. Millward treats the silk road broadly, to stand in for the cross-cultural communication between peoples across the Eurasian continent since at least the Neolithic era. On the other, he highlights specific examples of goods and ideas exchanged between the Mediterranean, Persia, India, and China, along with the significance of these exchanges. While including silks, spices, and travelers' tales of colorful locales, the book explains the dynamics of Central Eurasian history that promoted Silk Road interactions--especially the role of nomad empires--highlighting the importance of the biological, technological, artistic, intellectual, and religious interchanges across the continent. Millward shows that these exchanges had a profound effect on the old world that was akin to, if not on the scale of, modern globalization. He also disputes the idea that the silk road declined after the collapse of the Mongol empire or the opening of direct sea routes from Europe to Asia, showing how silk road phenomena continued through the early modern and modern expansion of the Russian and Chinese states across Central Asia. Millward concludes that the idea of the silk road has remained powerful, not only as a popular name for boutiques and restaurants, but also in modern politics and diplomacy, such as U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's "Silk Road Initiative" for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
In the late nineteenth century, the first discoveries of prehistoric painting were greeted with incredulity. How could there have been such deft and skillful artists in the world over 30,000 years ago? Noted art historian Nigel Spivey begins with this puzzle to explore the record of humanity's artistic endeavors and their impact on our own development. Embarking with the motto, “Everyone is an artist,” Spivey takes us on a quest to find out when and how we humans began to explore the deepest questions of life, using visual artforms. With the help of vivid color illustrations of some of the world's most moving and enduring works of art, Spivey shows how that art has been used as a means of mass persuasion, essential to the creation of hierarchical societies, and finally, the extent to which art has served as a mode of terror management in the face of our inevitable death. Packed with new insights into ancient wonders and fascinating stories from all around the globe, How Art Made the World is a compelling account of how humans made art and how art makes us human.
Author: Matthew Kapstein
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-05-01
Exploring the long history of cultural exchange between 'the Roof of the World' and 'the Middle Kingdom,' Buddhism Between Tibet and China features a collection of noteworthy essays that probe the nature of their relationship, spanning from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 CE) to the present day. Annotated and contextualized by noted scholar Matthew Kapstein and others, the historical accounts that comprise this volume display the rich dialogue between Tibet and China in the areas of scholarship, the fine arts, politics, philosophy, and religion. This thoughtful book provides insight into the surprisingly complex history behind the relationship from a variety of geographical regions. Includes contributions from Rob Linrothe, Karl Debreczeny, Elliot Sperling, Paul Nietupski, Carmen Meinert, Gray Tuttle, Zhihua Yao, Ester Bianchi, Fabienne Jagou, Abraham Zablocki, and Matthew Kapstein.
Author: R. Foltz
Release Date: 2010-06-20
Genre: Social Science
Drawing on the latest research and scholarship, this newly revised and updated edition of Religions of the Silk Road explores the majestically fabled cities and exotic peoples that make up the romantic notions of the colonial era.
Shadow of the Silk Road records a journey along the greatest land route on earth. Out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran and into Kurdish Turkey, Colin Thubron covers some seven thousand miles in eight months. Making his way by local bus, truck, car, donkey cart and camel, he travels from the tomb of the Yellow Emperor, the mythic progenitor of the Chinese people, to the ancient port of Antioch—in perhaps the most difficult and ambitious journey he has undertaken in forty years of travel. The Silk Road is a huge network of arteries splitting and converging across the breadth of Asia. To travel it is to trace the passage not only of trade and armies but also of ideas, religions and inventions. But alongside this rich and astonishing past, Shadow of the Silk Road is also about Asia today: a continent of upheaval. One of the trademarks of Colin Thubron's travel writing is the beauty of his prose; another is his gift for talking to people and getting them to talk to him. Shadow of the Silk Road encounters Islamic countries in many forms. It is about changes in China, transformed since the Cultural Revolution. It is about false nationalisms and the world's discontented margins, where the true boundaries are not political borders but the frontiers of tribe, ethnicity, language and religion. It is a magnificent and important account of an ancient world in modern ferment.
Author: Karen Manchester
Publisher: Art Institute of Chicago
Release Date: 2007-05-28
The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that extended from Asia to the Mediterranean Sea, linking powerful civilizations such as Rome and China. Featuring over forty intriguing objects—both ancient and modern—from the Art Institute’s collection, this volume explores the Silk Road’s fascinating historical and contemporary significance. Ranging from ancient Chinese tomb figures to works by such contemporary artists as Lalla Essaydi, the selections reflect an intense exchange between cultures and provide new ways of looking at and thinking about Eastern and Western art. With an essay that explores how the Silk Road fostered an exchange of goods, styles, and ideas between East and West, the book also includes a conversation between James Cuno, the museum’s director, and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. They discuss the Silk Road as a metaphor for the continuous circulation of visual––and musical––motifs and ideas between cultures today.
Author: Sam van Schaik
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
Release Date: 2015-08-25
Until the early twentieth century, hardly any traces of the Tibetan tradition of Chinese Chan Buddhism, or Zen, remained. Then the discovery of a sealed cave in Dunhuang, full of manuscripts in various languages dating from the first millennium CE, transformed our understanding of early Zen. This book translates some of the earliest surviving Tibetan Zen manuscripts preserved in Dunhuang. The translations illuminate different aspects of the Zen tradition, with brief introductions that not only discuss the roles of ritual, debate, lineage, and meditation in the early Zen tradition but also explain how these texts were embedded in actual practices.
Author: Joyce Morgan
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2012-08-22
When a Chinese monk broke into a hidden cave in 1900, he uncovered one of the world’s great literary secrets: a time capsule from the ancient Silk Road. Inside, scrolls were piled from floor to ceiling, undisturbed for a thousand years. The gem within was the Diamond Sutra of AD 868. This key Buddhist teaching, made 500 years before Gutenberg inked his press, is the world’s oldest printed book. The Silk Road once linked China with the Mediterranean. It conveyed merchants, pilgrims and ideas. But its cultures and oases were swallowed by shifting sands. Central to the Silk Road’s rediscovery was a man named Aurel Stein, a Hungarian-born scholar and archaeologist employed by the British service. Undaunted by the vast Gobi Desert, Stein crossed thousands of desolate miles with his fox terrier Dash. Stein met the Chinese monk and secured the Diamond Sutra and much more. The scroll’s journey—by camel through arid desert, by boat to London’s curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II—merges an explorer’s adventures, political intrigue, and continued controversy. The Diamond Sutra has inspired Jack Kerouac and the Dalai Lama. Its journey has coincided with the growing appeal of Buddhism in the West. As the Gutenberg Age cedes to the Google Age, the survival of the Silk Road’s greatest treasure is testament to the endurance of the written word.