The Silk Road: A New History with Documents
Valerie Hansen (Author)
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DescriptionThe Silk Road is iconic in world history; but what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different--and far more interesting. In The Silk Road: A New History with Documents, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionized our understanding of these trade routes. Hansen explores eight sites along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. Designed for use in the classroom and based on the award-winning trade edition (OUP, 2012), The Silk Road: A New History with Documents offers a selection of excerpted primary sources in each chapter. The wide-ranging sources include memoirs of medieval Chinese monks and modern explorers, letters written by women, descriptions of towns, legal contracts, religious hymns, and many others. A new final chapter provides coverage of the Silk Road during the period of Mongol rule.
Oxford University Press, USA
June 14, 2016
6.1 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.85 pounds
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About the Author
Valerie Hansen is Professor of History at Yale University. She is the author of several books, including The Open Empire, Second Edition (2015), and, with Kenneth R. Curtis, Voyages in World History, Third Edition (2016).
"The Silk Road was already the best introduction to the reality behind this commonly used phrase. With the new documents, this version gives an even more vivid picture of how the 'Silk Road' actually functioned. It is perfect for classroom use."--Christopher P. Atwood, University of Pennsylvania
"In 2013 the International Convention of Asia Scholars recognized The Silk Road: A New History as the best new book about Asia for teaching the humanities. That is no small praise, and I could not readily agree more. Indeed, for anyone who teaches the Silk Road--or Asian or world history--this updated version that includes a remarkable array of original sources is an absolute boon. Not only because it is beautifully written and cogently offers up a magisterial overview of Inner Asian history up through the Mongol conquest, but also, more importantly, because it weaves into its narrative the excitement of discovery that lies at the heart of the humanities."--Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University
"The Silk Road is a remarkable achievement, especially considering the extreme complexity of the subject matter. This useful and timely text provides teachers and students of Chinese, Asian, and world history a much-needed collection of primary sources on the Silk Road in the first millennium and beyond. The selected prayers, contracts, personal correspondence, and graffiti tell extremely vivid, personal, factual stories and promise to generate stimulating class discussion. Instructors and students alike will benefit greatly from Hansen's informative introductions and carefully selected maps and images."--Cong Ellen Zhang, University of Virginia