Silk Roads: From Local Realities to Global Narratives [Hardback]

Jeffrey D. Lerner (Editor); Yaohua Shi (Editor)

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ISBN: 9781789254709 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 312p, H280 x W216 (mm)




Silk Roads

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In recent decades, there has been a new surge of interest in the history and legacies of the Silk Roads both within academic and public discourses. A field of Silk Roads Studies has come into its own. Consciously mirroring the temperament of its subject, the field has moved out of the narrow niches of particular disciplines to become a truly interdisciplinary endeavor. New research findings about the historical operations of the Silk Roads and interpretations of their legacies for the modern and contemporary world have broken down geographical and temporal divides that once demarcated the Silk Roads as primarily pre-modern and Old World-centered conduits of globalization. In light of these developments, the time is ripe to begin formulating a new definition of the contour of Silk Roads Studies and laying a new foundation for further work in this field. Silk Roads: From Local Realities to Global Narratives brings together leading scholars in multiple disciplines related to Silk Roads studies. It highlights the multiplicity of networks that constituted the Silk Roads, including land and maritime routes, and approaches the Silk Roads from Antiquity to China’s One Belt One Road Initiative from Afro-Eurasia to the Americas. This holistic approach to understanding ancient globalization, exchanges, transformations, and movements - and their continued relevance to the present - is in line with contemporary academic trends toward interdisciplinarity. Indeed, the Silk Roads is such an expansive topic that many approaches to its study must be included to represent accurately its many facets. The volume emphasizes exchange and transformation along the Silk Roads - moments of acculturation or hybridization that contributed to novel syncretic forms. It highlights the multiplicity of networks that constituted the Silk Roads, including land and maritime routes, and approaches to the Silk Roads from Antiquity to China’s One Belt One Road Initiative from Afro-Eurasia to the Americas.

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Contributors
 
Introduction
 
Section One: Acculturation and Hybridization
1. The “Birth” of the Silk Road Between Ecological Frontiers and Military Innovation
Nicola Di Cosmo
 
2. Sogdians in Shanxi (386 CE-618 CE): Literary and Archeological Evidence
Xiaoyan Qi
 
3. From Exotic Toys to Objects of Scientific Inquiry: A Special Way of Transmitting European Optical Knowledge in the Qing Dynasty
Yunli Shi
 
4. The Karakorum Highway: Gateway of Empires, Religions, and Commerce
Saba Samee
 
Section Two: Understanding Spice Through Interdisciplinarity
 
5. A TRP Along the Silk Roads: How and Why We Detect and Use Spices
Wayne Silver and Cecil J. Saunders
 
6. Silk Road Pharmacy: Debating Theriac and Defining the Natural World
Monique O’Connell
 
7. Spice and Taste in the Culinary World of the Early Modern Mediterranean
Eric Dursteler
 
Section Three: Tradition as Continuity and Change
 
8. Devotional Prints and Practice: Woodcuts from the Library Cave at Dunhuang
Bernadine Barnes
 
9. Dome of Heaven: From the Lantern Ceiling to the Chinese Wooden Dome
Di Luo
 
10. “Malacca” – From Fabled Port to Muddy Lagoon: A Cautionary Tale of Ecological Disaster
Margaret Sarkissian
 
11. Twenty-first Century Trading Routes in Mongolia: Changing Pastoral Soundscapes and Lifeways
Jennifer Post
 
12. Erasing the Local, Celebrating the Local: Tracing the Contradictions of the Silk Road in Pakistan
Chad Haines
 
Section Four: Cultural Transactions
 
13. Arsacid Economic Activity on the Silk Road
Touraj Daryaee
 
14. Pearls and Power: Chōla's Tribute Mission to the Northern Song Court within the Maritime Silk Road Trade Network
James A. Anderson
 
15. “Flying Cash”: Credit Instruments on the Silk Roads
Dan Du
 
Section Five: Long-Distance Commodity Trade
 
16. The Case for Shipwrecked Indians in Germany
Jeffrey D. Lerner
 
17. Samuel Shaw’s ‘Maritime Silk Road’ from American Independence towards Monopoly, 1784–1794
John A. Ruddiman

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