Liu Yingsheng

The History of the Silk Road

The Land & Maritime Routes

A meticulous scholarship by renowned historian Liu Yingsheng who brings to light the ever-growing bonds of people in the long history of the Silk Road.


50.00 $


The book consists of two parts : the land Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road, which includes 14 chapters, totally.  When studying the history of the Silk Road, Liu Yingsheng provides a clear view of the communications among civilizations with the following words:

“Civilization centers of the world have both developed separately and connected with each other directly and indirectly. A number of ancient human communities are dotted among the aforesaid civilization centers and linked with each other like a chain. Geographically speaking, China was an isolated territory in Eurasia. But ancient Chinese knew that there were brilliant cultures in the remote West. The fairy tale on Xiwangmu (Queen Mother of the West) reflects ancient Chinese people’s desire to other civilizations. Hence, despite of the remoteness and distance, humankind had travelled an arduous and long way for communications. Nomadic peoples living in the Eurasia Steppes had maintained a natural economic and cultural link with their neighboring Southern agricultural peoples, and meanwhile, relying on their fast steeds, played as a liaison the for East-West civilization communications for several thousand years.”

In this book, Liu Yingsheng has reviewed the original valuable historical materials preserved in China, and also those historical materials written by close neighbours of China in the old history, like Hui, Uyghur, Mongols, Arabs, Persia and utilized many other researches made by Western scholars. The book includes more than 1,400 direct and indirect references given by world famous scholars.

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1. The Long March along the Land Silk Road

2. Nomadic Peoples in Chinese and Asian histories

1. Origin of the Land Silk Road

1. Emergence of the Textile Industry

2. Original Primitive Cultures along the Land Silk Road

3. The Persian Empire

4. The Hun Empire: An Empire on the Horseback

5. A Through Land Silk Road from the East to the West

6. Parthia (Arsacid) Dynasty and the Central Plains

2. The Great Migration Movement of Peoples along the Land Silk Road

1. Eastward Spread of the Kushan (Rouzhi) Culture

2. Climax Period of Integration of Peoples along the Land Silk Road

3. From Steppes to Central Plains

4. The New Masters of the Grassland Silk Road

5. The Land Silk Road during the Western Liao and Jin Dynasties

3. New Era of Communications between the Hu and the Han Peoples

1. Exchanges between the Persian Sassanian Dynasty and China

2. Nine States (Tribes) in the Oases of Zhaowu

3. Scientific-technological and Cultural Exchanges between the Hu and Han peoples

4. Travelers from the Orient

5. Network of the Grassland Silk Road

4. Western Religions Entering China

1. Manichaeism

2. Zoroastrianism

3. Nestorianism

4. Judaism

5. Islam in China and Asia

5. Genghis Khan and His Descendants

1. The Mongolian Conquest of the West

2. Frequent Interactions between the East and the West

3. Religious and Cultural Exchanges between the East and Wes during the Yuan Dynasty Period

4. Colorful national cultures

6. The Grassland Silk Road during the Ming and Qing Dynasties

1. The Relationships between the Ming Court and the Northern Yuan, Tatar and Wala (Oirats) Kingdoms

2. Timur and the Ming Court

3. Rocia’s (Russia’s) Eastward Expansion

4. The New Era for Cultural Exchanges





1. Brief Overview of the Maritime Silk Road

2. The Discourse of Overseas “Barbarians” in the Chinese Historical Records

1. The Emergence and the Initial Period of the Maritime Silk Road

1. People in East Asia and the Seas in the Ancient Times

2. Initial Shipbuilding Industry in China

3. Navigation Skills in Early Times

4. Ancient Civilizations Related to the Silk Road

5. Maritime Routes between the East and the West in Early Times

2. Maritime Silk Road in the Indian Ocean

1. The Bustling Sea Routes in the Indian Ocean

2. The Climax of Cultural Exchanges between China and India

3. Unprecedented Development of Cultural Exchanges between China and Foreign Countries

1. Chinese and Foreign Currencies

2. Foreign Goods Flood China’s Markets

3. Progress in the Seamanship

4. Advances in the Geographical Knowledge

5. Introduction of Exotic Religions to China

6. Transplanting of the Overseas Crops

4. The Era of Marco Polo

1. The Overseas Expansion of the Yuan dynasty

2. The Unprecedented Development of Communications with China and Foreign Countries

3. World’s Famous Explorers

4. Cultural Exchanges and Overseas Trade

5. The Heyday of the Maritime Silk Road

1. Zheng He’s Voyages

2. Sea Routes

3. Friendly Sino-foreign Exchanges

4. Islamic Secular Culture in China

6. Europeans Arriving at the East

1. Colonial Aggression against the East

2. A New Era of East-West Trade

3. Jesuits and East-West Cultural Exchange

4. Eastward Transmission of European Sciences and Westward Transmission of Chinese Learning

3. Spread of Chinese Learning to the West



Prof. Liu Yingsheng is President of the Society for the Study of Chinese Yuan History (2003-2022) and Vice-President of the Chinese Society of Mongolian History (since 1998), Director of the Institute of Asian Studies/Yuan History Research Unit, Nanjing University (since 1990) and Director of the Institute of Korean Studies (since 2005).
He is an internationally renowned and influential scholar at the forefront of contemporary research on Mongolian Yuan history, inland Asian history, the history of Chinese Islamic culture, and the history of Sino-foreign relations.


Format: paperback

Publication date: 2018

Page extent: 640

ISBN: 9786059914758


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