The Silk Road

The East, the West and a Thousand Years

This is the story of a road, or rather a network of roads, a bundle of land and sea routes that for centuries, indeed millennia, helped move people, goods and knowledge from the eastern end of Asia to the Mediterranean and Europe. “Silk Road” is a romantic and recent name, but it conveys effectively the idea of a vast world, featuring an ancient history comprising wars, exchanges and trade. Along this great open road, threading its way through mountains and highlands, all sorts of things have travelled: spices, Chinese pottery, Iranian cobalt, paper, and of course silk. Alexandria, Chang’an, Samarkand, Bukhara, Baghdad, Istanbul are just some of the major stops along a thousand-year-long journey that leads us to the present day. The Silk Road is not a mere story of the past; it is one of the deep meanings shaping our global future.

Franco Cardini is professor emeritus of Medieval History at the Italian Institute of Human and Social Science / Scuola Normale Superiore, directeur de recherches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and a fellow at Harvard University.

Alessandro Vanoli is a medieval historian and an expert in Mediterranean history.

I. Gli ambienti e gli uomini
II. Alessandria. Il Mediterraneo che guarda a oriente
III. Chang'an. Al principio della via della seta
IV. Bamiyan. L'espansione buddhista sulla via della seta
V. Costantinopoli. Il Mediterraneo e la via della seta
VI. Baghdad. L'islam: impero, spezie e vie commerciali
VII. Aden, Siraf, Hormuz e Calicut. Le vie dell'oceano
VIII. Da Palermo a Gerusalemme. La via della seta al tempo delle crociate
IX. Da Esfahan a Karakorum. Gli invasori nomadi e i mongoli
X. Pechino. Marco Polo e gli altri: la strada europea verso il Catai
XI. Samarcanda. L'impero timuride
XII. Giava. Il mare cinese
XIII. Goa. Le trasformazioni della via della seta verso un mondo globale
XIV. Istanbul, Esfahan e Agra. I grandi imperi asiatici
XV. Amsterdam. La via della seta vista dall'Europa
XVI. Herat. Il grande gioco
Conclusioni. Il viaggio ricomincia
series "Intersezioni"
pp. 352, 978-88-15-27366-6
publication year 2017