500 - Silk Road

By Grace Curtis

The silk road connected the east and the west through a network of trade routes throughout the 2nd century BCE and the 18th century. The trade routes were most successful from 500-800 while mercantilism thrived, and the trade routes helped many countries evolve. The silk road greatly influenced, exploration, innovation, cultural interaction, and technology. You can see the change in the many influential ideas and goods that were traded between Rome and China, also effecting the countries the silk road ran through. The silk road came to a close when the Turks took over the byzantine empire in 1463.

Silk from china brought china to great economic growth. Nobody else knew how to make silk and the Chinese were very good at keeping the way silk was made a secret. Silk was highly desired in Rome and they paid great prices to get the lightweight product that was said to be worth its weight in gold. During Justinian’s s(527- 565) rule (a great Byzantine emperor) sent two men to china to steal the silkworms that produced the silk. Justinian was successful and there began the Byzantine silk industry. This was significant because silk was one of the most valuable materials traded on the silk road.


The west and east each traded various goods with the other which led innovation to flourish. The west affected the east by bringing horses, dogs, gold and silver, camels, and weapons, and armor. The east greatly influenced the west bypassing along with silk, tea, dyes, spices, medicine, and gunpowder. These goods evolved many civilizations and a large amount of trade led to progress for those civilizations and made them smarter and more powerful.

The silk road was important because it caused major development in many civilizations including China, Rome, Egypt, India, Persia, and many more. The spread of knowledge and ideas shaped cultures and progressed educational growth. Warfare was affected by the trade of new weaponry, this made the battle more efficient but also more lethal. Diseases such as the black plague were spread on the silk road and affected millions. The end of the silk road in 1463 greatly influenced the scientific revolution as many explorers and philosophers looked for new trade routes. The silk road greatly influenced the Columbian exchange and pushed us into the modern world. In closing the silk road sparked exploration, innovation, change, and technology greatly and was a huge piece of history.





Map of the Silk Road Routes (by Whole World Land And Oceans, Public Domain)

By Grace Curtis