marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes

The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China by Raoul McLaughlin

An overview of the political situations and other factors playing into the trade between China and Rome.

Chinese techniques for steel were superior, for instance, but because Rome was used to different places having better or worse steel according to their ore, Romans assumed it was just better material. Romans unpicked silk and rewove it into lighter waves, and dyed it as well; this got re-imported as far as India and led the Chinese to believe that Rome had sericulture.

There's also chapters on the regions between and their effects on trade. These are less good but still have some interesting stuff.
Tags: history reviews: ancient (other), history reviews: classical, history reviews: far east

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