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Silk Road: Monks, Warriors Merchants

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Place names such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khotan and Chang'an continue to fascinate with the richness of their past. In this authoritative book, Luce Boulnois explores the encounter between East and West across the vast continental expanse that separates the Mediterranean world from the Chinese one. She unravels in a clear and compelling way the complex threads that make up ...more
Paperback, 574 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Odyssey Books Maps (first published January 1st 1964)
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Hock Tjoa
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Luce Bulnois spent a long time working in and around the area of the Silk Road. She is well equipped to pronounce on the sources. Alas she does so without a clear organizing principle. She has followed her sources and the subjects that interest her. At one point, I braced against a chapter on silkworms such as Melville wrote on whales, but Bulnois managed to break her findings up into two or three places. She knows about the Chinese who have made pilgrimages or expeditions to or through the area ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Good if you're into history, although it did repeat itself a lot, and got terribly in-depth with things such as terminology of various trade goods as they were named at the time (including the several dozens of types of silk.) Still, it painted a good image of the varying dynasties and empires that lay between Rome and China, and the rise and fall of them, as well as the dissemination of knowledge and goods. Worth a read if you're a historical nut.
Radit Panjapiyakul
Apr 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This comprehensive history of Silk Road and silk itself covers as much grounds as to satisfy any enthusiasts' need. The tone is quite academic, but not too dry for couch reading. Sometimes Boulnois gets too deep in the details of trading products, silver, lapis lazuli, pearl, asbestos, tea, horse, to name a few. And then we have the numerous names of ancient cities and ports which should be quite confusing for anyone not acquainted with this part of the world. But all in all, it gives a complete ...more
Sep 20, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm reading this book for my graduate Art of the Silk Road seminar. It's not exactly graduate-level reading, but my professor prefers books that are easily accessible to students. Though the organization leaves much to be desired, the material is hardly comprehensive or academic, the book is at best an introduction to the figures or peoples significant to the history of the silk routes.
Pretty good introduction to the history, geography and people that lived, travelled and explored the "silk road". Lots of interesting ideas to further explore. The bibliography offers dozens of titles to read to explore, learn and enjoy.I took lots of notes and now have quite a bit of new books to look forward to read in the future.
Frank Cardenas
Sep 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Beautifully written but unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations of the actual Silk Road. Attracted by the cover and the comments on it, I bought this book before actually doing the Silk Road in China, unfortunately, I was expecting a different content, sth that would allow me to enjoy my trip a bit more, I did not find it there.
Robin Rivers
A wonderful look into the ancient history of the Silk Road from Luce Boulois. Her writing - although dealing with historical academia and research - is warm and conversational.

Wonderful photos and resources for travelling the Silk Road at the end of the book as well.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
A very comprehensive book on the Silk Road from sources from all through the history of the trade route and from many different places. The book did seem repetitive at times, but the writing style is pleasant to read.
Omar Khan
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a really interesting book, which explains in fascinating detail how trade in silk, horses and other goods helped form the world from China to Europe over 2,000 years. Well-written, with some nice French generalizations and broad-scope analysis, with exciting twists and turns along the way.
Sep 18, 2011 added it
Jul 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: nerdynonfiction
A bit dry, written in the French school of economic history. It didn't really cover the points I was hoping it would (the
"European" settlements).
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