The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China

Written by:
Raoul Mclaughlin
Narrated by:
James Cameron Stewart

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2019
14 hours 22 minutes
The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes investigates the trade routes between Rome and the powerful empires of inner Asia, including the Parthian regime which ruled ancient Persia (Iran). It explores Roman dealings with the Kushan Empire which seized power in Bactria (Afghanistan) and laid claim to the Indus Kingdoms. Further chapters examine the development of Palmyra as a leading caravan city on the edge of Roman Syria and consider trade ventures through the Tarim territories that led Roman merchants to Han China.

The Han Empire of ancient China matched that of Rome in scale and possessed military technology surpassing that of Roman legions. The Han established a system of Central Asian trade routes known as the Silk Road that carried eastern products as far as Persia and the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

This is the first book to address these subjects in a single comprehensive study. It explores Rome's impact on the ancient world economy and reveals what the Chinese and Romans knew about their rival Empires.
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John H.

This book has competent research and knowledge, particularly in trade economics, products (early and classic supply and demand), and specific locations. Its great weakness is that it needs to include and/or reference trade route maps. (Many authors give access to maps or reports on a website). As such, one is most often lost in the vast wildness of the Silk Road, and the spatial history is difficult to follow. Disorientation is frequent. The narration is clear and well-paced but lacks any excitement or anticipation; rather, it's like listening to a bland report given to a committee (despite the many riveting battles and events of the many centuries on the Road). That said, the lack of maps is the most glaring sortcoming.

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