The Cotton Road And The Silk Road Essay

The Cotton Road And The Silk Road Essay

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Throughout history, different areas of the world became accustomed to a smorgasbord of ideas and religions. Eventually, these areas strived to move about the world, in hopes of spreading their culture. Starting in 206 BCE, during the time of the Han Dynasty, merchants began to do just that. This was known as the Silk Road, although it was most certainly not just one road, but a network of roads. The roads ran mainly from East to West and extended to southern Iran, the northern Eurasian steppe, and south over the Hindu Kush to the Indian subcontinent (1). The Silk Road developed overtime in order to exchange goods, such as silk, fabrics, woolen goods, rice, spices and many more items. Along with these tangible goods, came new ideas and religions. Merchants not only brought along their goods, but their ideals and values, which inevitably spread to new destinations along the Silk Road. The Silk Road also acted as a “rite of passage (9).” By the time the Silk Road ended, no religion was the same as when it began. As religions were adapted in new areas, they began to change and combine with new ideas from other cultures. There were many religions that expanded greatly during this time and dramatically thrived because of the Silk Road. Of course, the extent to which they expanded varied on how people heard and learned about these religions. With the help of missionaries and merchants, there were many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity and Muslim that grew significantly throughout this time. While there were many successful religions, there were also many that did not stay active for a long time, and came out of the Silk Road without a trace.
Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, sometime from the seventh to the fourth century BCE, live...


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...r’an(93). The Sufi preachers would share their own interpretations of the Islamic beliefs which was a new way of teaching. When people found out about this way of governing, many people converted.
As the aforementioned shows, certain religions were successful along the silk road, whereas others were not. The Silk Road was created to trade one’s finest goods which another area. The unexpected occurred when they began to not only trade goods, but ideas and beliefs as well. Missionaries traveled along the Silk Road in hopes of teaching their practices and expanding their religion all around the world. Along with this notion, comes immense change. Many religions prospered during this time, while others are left without a trace. By the sixteenth century, the concept of the Silk Road dwindled, but left the world with a whole belief system which shaped how we live today.

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