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

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Description

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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 237 x 289 x 33mm | 2,451g
  • I.B. TAURIS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 266 colour
  • 178076832X
  • 9781780768328
  • 101,089

Table of contents

Introduction

1. Early Empires and Kingdoms in East Central Asia
2. Early Buddhism in Central Asia and the Gandhara School
3. The Migration of Hunnic Peoples to Northern China, Central Asia and Eastern Europe
4. The Kingdoms of the Tarim Basin and their Schools of Buddhist Art
5. The First Turkic Khaganate
6. Turkic Kingdoms of Eastern Europe
7. The Sogdians
8.The Second Turkic Khaganate and the Turgesh
9. China, Tibet and the Arabs: The Struggle for Supremacy in Central Asia
10. The Uyghurs
11. Outlook

Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
List of Maps
Photo Credits
Acknowledgements

Index
Concepts
People
Places
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Review quote

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 York 'In 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 review 'the 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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About Christoph Baumer

Christoph Baumer - a leading explorer and historian of Central Asia, Tibet and China - has written several well-received books in the fields of history, religion, archaeology and travel. These include The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity, Traces in the Desert: Journeys of Discovery across Central Asia and China's Holy Mountain: An Illustrated Journey into the Heart of Buddhism, all published by I.B.Tauris. His ambitious four-volume study of Central Asia was launched in 2012 with volume 1, The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors
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Rating details

15 ratings
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3 13% (2)
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