ANNE HAWORTH The Silk Road and the Sea - China’s Windows on the World
STUDY DAY Wednesday 6 November 2019 10am -3pm Worsall Village Hall
Chinese Emperors and philosophers traditionally regarded their country as ‘The Middle Kingdom’, situated at the centre of the world. As they cultivated their minds and spirits, they faced inwards.
In contrast, merchants in China’s border regions faced outwards. On the western frontier the ancient Silk Road witnessed an exchange of luxury goods: silk, perfumes, exotica and Persian glass carried by camel caravans over vast distances.
On China’s eastern frontier stretched the sea on which ivory, jewels and porcelain were traded along with tea, lacquer and painted wallpaper. Merchants, dancers and acrobats from central Asia thronged China’s capital Xi’an. Arab merchants settled in China’s port cities to be followed by ‘red-haired foreign devils’ from Europe, who brought Indian opium, gunboats and the new architectural styles of the Treaty Ports.
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