Magazine article Geographical

The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads

Magazine article Geographical

The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads

Article excerpt

THE HISTORY OF CENTRAL ASIA: The Age of the Silk Roads

by Christoph Baumer, I.B.Tauris, hb, 25 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Christoph Baumer's four-book-series on Central Asia reveals the author to be a person whose skills encompass a wide range of exacting disciplines.

He begins with the imperial histories of the early central Asian kingdoms, interlaced with a complex migration of peoples. This leads on to the establishment of the powerful Sogdian kingdom, the foundation of Samarqand and the more recent migrations of Turkic nomads. Later, a powerful, independent Tibet spreads Buddhism through conquest. This in turn, gives way to Islam whose effects are with us today. Baumer shows how these fluctuating empires and their religions formed strategic outposts along the Silk Roads and how this commercial network expanded as rapid economic growth was generated by one imperial dynasty after another.

The Silk Roads later evolved into tribute routes where silk was handed over to gain access into nomadic fiefdoms. …

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