A fascinating history of the intricate web of trade routes connecting ancient Rome to Eastern civilizations, including its powerful rival, the Han Empire.
The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes investigates the trade routes between Rome and the powerful empires of inner Asia, including the Parthian Empire of ancient Persia, and the Kushan Empire which seized power in Bactria (Afghanistan), laying claim to the Indus Kingdoms. Further chapters examine the development of Palmyra as a leading caravan city on the edge of Roman Syria. Raoul McLaughlin also delves deeply into Rome’s trade ventures through the Tarim territories, which led its merchants to the Han Empire of ancient China.
Having established a system of Central Asian trade routes known as the Silk Road, the Han carried eastern products as far as Persia and the frontiers of the Roman Empire. Though they were matched in scale, the Han surpassed its European rival in military technology.
The first book to address these subjects in a single comprehensive study, The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes explores Rome’s impact on the ancient world economy and reveals what the Chinese and Romans knew about their rival Empires.