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The History Of Central Asia, Vol. 2: The Age Of The Silk Roads

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The History Of Central Asia, Vol. 2: The Age Of The Silk Roads.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Christoph Baumer(Author)

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The Age of the Silk Roads (c 200 BC- c 900 AD) shaped the course of the future. The foundation by the Han dynasty of an extensive network of interlinking trade routes, collectively known as the Silk Road, led to an explosion of cultural and commercial transactions across Central Asia that had a profound impact on civilization. In this second volume of his authoritative history of the region, Christoph Baumer explores the unique flow of goods, peoples and ideas along the dusty tracks and wandering caravan routes that brought European and Mediterranean orbits into contact with Asia. The Silk Roads, the author shows, enabled the spread across the known world of Christianity, Manichaeism, Buddhism and Islam, just as earlier they had caused Roman citizens to crave the exotic silk goods of the mysterious Far East. Tracing the rise and fall of empires, this richly illustrated book charts the ebb and flow of epic history: the bitter rivalry of Rome and Parthia; the lucrative mercantile empire of the Sogdians; the founding of Samarkand; and Chinese defeat at the Battle of Talas (751 AD) by the forces of Islam.

Christoph Baumer devotes the second book of his four-volume history of Central Asia to the Silk Roads, those extraordinarily significant routes that linked the Eurasian civilizations. He provides an excellent description, focusing on their importance in cultural diffusion. In this well-written survey, Baumer offers the reader a clear portrait of the array of societies that flourished along the Silk Roads. Just as valuable, he emphasizes the means by which religions, methods of governance, and technological innovations spread across Eurasia. He enlivens the text with colorful depictions of rulers, commanders, and voyagers who played notable roles in Silk Roads history. Well-versed in the secondary literature, Baumer provides fine coverage of the Silk Roads numerous influences on civilizations.Morris Rossabi, Distinguished Professor of History, The City University of New YorkIn an age of specialists, Christoph Baumer is a rare creature: a generalist. Explorer, archaeologist, adventurer, enthusiast, historian, photographer - no one could be better qualified to tackle a subject so vast in time and space. He must be a book lover, for this, the first of four volumes on the subject, is a gorgeous creation, with creamy paper, crisp design and perfect colour pictures ... A cultural guidebook on a grand scale... [it] is stamped with his personality ... The start of a truly monumental undertaking.Literary reviewthe age of the steppe warriors is as magnificent as it is magisterial. From landscapes and ancient stelae to artefacts of gold, bronze, wood and even textile, the book is filled with images that are in turn fascinating, mysterious and dazzling. For the most part, the photos are of places that are inaccessible to most of us or of artefacts from museums in Russia and Central Asia that few readers will have ever visited ... the age of the steppe warriors is a beautiful, evocative and thought-provoking book. --Asian Review of Books

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Book details

  • PDF | 408 pages
  • Christoph Baumer(Author)
  • I B Tauris (30 July 2014)
  • English
  • 9
  • Biography

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Review Text

  • By Owl on 26 March 2015

    Excellent. It covers bits that other authors don't, but equally relies on and references those whose work he uses.

  • By Liz T on 25 February 2015

    This is the second in a four volume series by the same author and weighty hardback at least twice the size of the volume I had expected to arrive through the post. But this is a terrific book, stunningly illustrated with full colour pictures that show the landscape, the archaeological artefacts and the ruins of the Central Asian societies that traded along the ancient Silk Roads. It was no surprise to discover that the author had originally studied Art History and that he subsequently explored parts of Central Asia in person. There is hardly a page of this book without a useful image or photograph to augment the text. Some are of museum objects, or the ruined remains of significant buildings, while others are placed to give the reader a glimpse of the various wilderness landscapes through which these trading 'roads' passed. The quality of the glossy paper used throughout the book does justice to these pictures. In particular, the explanatory maps that accompany the text are the best I have seen, with the information superimposed in colour onto satellite images of the entire area. This is a real boost to the reader's understanding of the regions, the distances and the terrains that it covers.The text is well written and historically accurate while the list of secondly sources referenced is formidable. I was also pleased to see an acknowledgment that religious beliefs, as well as material culture, were conveyed by the merchants, soldiers and travellers who used these ancient trails through desert places. This is especially evident in a section in chapter two on the east/west influences in Buddhist Gadhara art, located in modern Pakistan. Chapter four on the Tarim region was also interesting, beginning with an acknowledgement of the previous explorers of this place. So, over all, I think this book is a 'must' for anyone interested in the ancient history of Central Asia and the Silk Roads.

  • By H A on 13 September 2015

    superb book pictures are outstanding

  • By Ross on 12 January 2016

    I have always been fascinated about the history of Central Asia and was bought this book for Christmas, The story unfolds across the whole panorama telling the story of Han China's expansion into the Tarim basin, the rise and fall of the Xionungu, Kushan empires and the other empires that followed during this period that the book covers. The detail of the text and wonderful pictures are keeping me turning page after page and the author deserves praise for his research that he has put into this and the earlier volume (which I have now decided that I will purchase too). I found it really interesting about the routes of the Silk Road and the trade that flourished between the states and how even the Romans knew about and sent trade delegations to the peoples of central Asia to try to bypass the Parthian and Sassanid middle men. The Rise of Islam, Tibet, and the other Steppe peoples as they clashed with the re-emergence of Tang China as a big player in the 7th century.The maps showing the trade routes and various states are really informative and helps brings to life the whole area from the wind swept mountains and parched deserts that the various travellers, explorers and statesmen crossed in their search for knowledge, power and exploration.I look forward to reading the next volume soon if it is anything like this one.

  • By martin on 6 February 2016

    Fabulous detail on early history of Asia .

  • By Jeremy F. on 17 May 2017

    Very interesting book on a fascinating subject.


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