Networks of Communication and
Exchange, 300 BCE – 600 CE
I. The Silk Road
A. Origins and
Operations
• Parthians (247 BCE)
• General Zhang Jian (128
BCE)
• New cities
• Goods exchanged from
East – West
B. The Sasanid Empire,
224 – 600 CE
• Artifacts, sedentary
warrior elite
• Purpose of cities
• New crops in
Mediterranean
• State religion –
Zoroastrianism
(intolerance)
B. The Sasanid Empire Continued
• 431 CE – Nestorian
Christians declared
heretics by Byzantine
Empire
• Third c. – rise of
Manichaeism
• Competition for converts
along Silk Road
C. The Impact of the Silk
Road
• Growing importance of
trade
• Nomads – dwellings
• Competing religions
• Military technology
• Impact of stirrup
What is the connection between
Manichaeism and Nestorian Christians to
the Silk Road? Why do you think these
religions were considered a threat?
II. The Indian Ocean Maritime System
1. South China Sea
2. East coast of India to islands of
3.
•
Southeast Asia
West coast of India to Persian
Gulf and East coast of Africa
Dominant traders in each region
– exceptions
Mediterranean
Indian Ocean
•Square sails,
•Triangular sails,
oars, nails
•Close to shore,
many islands,
small harbors
•Contact with
homeland
lack of oars, sewn
together
•Long distance –
Monsoon winds
•No contact with
homeland
A. Origins of Contact and
Trade
• Early/late records
• Indonesian migration to
Madagascar
• Impact on African mainland
– canoes and agriculture
B. Impact of Indian Ocean
Trade
• Goods from Africa and
Middle East
• Volume of trade
• Western Indian Ocean ports
– isolated, not primarily
focused on trade
• Eastern Indian Ocean ports
– larger inland populations,
trade VERY important
• Role of women
• Why were ports that were part of the
West Indian Ocean trade routes less
integrated in the surrounding landscape
than East Indian Ocean ports?
III. Routes Across the Sahara
• Trans –
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•
•
•
•
•
Saharan
caravan routes
Cave paintings
Cattle, horses,
chariots
CAMELS
North – South
Salt – forest
products
Impact of
Rome
• Compare the impact of technology on
Saharan trade routes to the Indian Ocean
Maritime trade.
IV. Sub – Saharan Africa
A. Geography,
geography,
geography…
• 4,000 miles from
Sahara to Cape of
Good Hope
• Palindrome effect
• Tropical rainforest,
deserts, savannah,
Mediterranean
climate
• Rivers, rift valleys,
cataracts
Culture, Technology, and Migrations
• Great traditions vs.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
small traditions
Geographic isolation
Language,
agriculture
Music, kinship, dance
Migration after Ice
Age
Bananas
How did iron
smelting reach sub –
Saharan Africa?
Bantu Migration –
origins, language
• What impact did the physical geography of
Africa have on the cultural development of
people living in sub – Saharan Africa?
V. The Spread of Ideas
A. Ideas and Material Evidence
• Pig domestication – origins –
prohibition
• Coins – Anatolia – spread to
Europe, North Africa, and
India…China?
B. The Spread of Buddhism
• Not tied to a single
ethnic/kinship group
• Impact of kings and Silk
Road travelers
• Faxian (Early 5th c.) – Central
Asia, Sri Lanka, Java, China
• Ashoka’s missionaries
• Different lands – Mahayana
or Theravada Buddhism
C. The Spread of Christianity
• Spread in Asia and Africa
– Jerusalem, Antioch,
Alexandria…Armenia and
Ethiopia
• Armenia – strategic Silk
Road location
• Zoroastrianism
• Alphabet
• Constantinople –
missionaries to Yemen
and Ethiopia
• 4th c. CE – Aedisius and
Frumentius in Ethiopia
• Nubia
• Why is it more difficult to trace the spread
of Buddhism or Christianity than the
spread of coin technology?
• What factors enabled the spread of
Buddhism and Christianity in Asia and
Africa?
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Networks of Communication and Exchange, 300 BCE – …