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Travel » Asia
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Silk Road

Monks, Warriors & Merchants


To the modern reader, the Silk Road conjures up images of fabled cities and exotic lands, of long-gone empires and great conquerors. Place names such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khotan or Chang'an continue to fascinate with the richness of their past. In this authoritative book, Luce Boulnois explores the encounter between East and West across the vast continental expanse that separates the Mediterranean world from the Chinese one. She unravels in a clear and compelling way the complex threads that make up the history of these great overland trade routes, which allowed the transmission across the world of ideas and beliefs, techniques and works of art, helping to shape the civilizations that flourished along the way. How did the Romans, following in the footsteps of the Greeks, discover these far-flung regions? What did the Chinese know of the European world? How did they manage to keep the secret of silk manufacture safe for centuries? Did Marco Polo really go to China, or was he just a clever impostor? In navigating through these questions, Luce Boulnois enlightens us about the relationship between the East and the West and their influence on each other in the light of the latest archeological discoveries, while also taking into account the recent geopolitical upheavals that have swept through these regions. This book meets academic requirements while remaining as readable as a novel. This 2012 edition has been revised by Bradley Mayhew.

Luce Boulnois studied Chinese and Russian in Paris at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO). In 1963, she published her first Silk Road book, which has been translated into nine languages, including Chinese and Japanese. While working at National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) for nearly 30 years, Luce Boulnois continued to study trade relations and cultural exchanges. After retiring in 1992, she wrote this acclaimed book, and continued her historical research on Central Asia and Tibet until passing away in the summer of 2009.

Bradley Mayhew was born in the UK in 1970 and currently lives in Montana, USA. A degree in Oriental Studies at Oxford University kickstarted 20 years of independent travel in the remoter corners of Asia and a career writing guidebooks. Bradley has lectured on Central Asia to the Royal Geographical Society and recently travelled across Asia in the footsteps of Marco Polo for a five-hour French-German TV documentary.

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Cordee Code: CTA611
Author: Luce Boulnois
No of Pages: 584
Page Size: 154 x 210 mm
ISBN 10: 9622178243
ISBN 13: 9789622178243
Publisher: Airphoto Int (Odyssey Guides)
Published Date: September 2003
Edition: 2012
Binding: Paperback (flapped)
Illustrations: Colour photos and maps
Weight: 1040g

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