top of page

The Silks Roads Summary and Guide - Chapter 1 - The Creation of the Silk Road - Pages 17-27


Exorbitant silk ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ‘— Chinese silk was flowing and gorgeous, so naturally, every rich person in Rome wanted some. This great city was full of people with more money than sense ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ›๏ธ. Leaders like Cenna thought silk was just awful. It was too delightful and women should NOT look so beautiful. Men often thought it was immoral and also exorbitant (cha-ching ๐Ÿ’ธ). The capital spilling out of Rome for goods like silk led to economic and urban development all along the burgeoning Silk Roads ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ๐ŸŒ. Villages became towns and towns became cities ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿข. Local economies blossomed ๐ŸŒผ and new landmarks sprang up. Rome was the buyer ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น and China/The East the vendor ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ, but the middle or bridge was the โ€ฆMiddle East and Persia ๐ŸŒ‰๐Ÿ”. Moving these goods from East to West created the first global supply and demand economy ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’น. However, consider things in your country bought from another country. How do people feel about it? Immigration of people and importation of goods arenโ€™t always popular? โ€œWhat about our potatoes???โ€ cried the Roman farmers ๐Ÿฅ”๐Ÿ˜ข. Potatoes werenโ€™t brought to Europe until the sixteenth century, you buffoons!ย ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ


Rome conquers all and teeters ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฅ Rome thought this trading business was all well and goโ€ฆgooโ€ฆgrand, but whatโ€™s better than trading partners? Stealing everything for yourself, of course! Why trade when you can just take it! Rome fixed its gaze on Persia and burned through money ๐Ÿ’ธ to conquer Babylon and major cities. Emperor Valerian got caught in his attempts at conquest andโ€ฆgot turned into a footstool by the Persian Emperor and then ermโ€ฆstuffed! Letโ€™s move on ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ. The folly of conquest is that when you mess things up terribly, you REALLY mess things up. Wars cost money ๐Ÿ’ฐ and the money must come from the proceeds of war or the tax people pay at home. The growth of Rome galvanised Persia. Grown rich from letting trade flow through its lands, the new leaders of Persia, the Sassannians in 220 A.D/C.E centralised power ๐Ÿ”ฑ in its central government. The Persians invested in huge infrastructure projects like mass irrigation ๐Ÿ’ง to provide more food, like potatoes (*Potatoes werenโ€™t brought to the Middle East until some guys from Europe got some in the sixteenth century, you nincompoop!) ๐Ÿฅ”, and bring down food prices, making it a more forceful and more intractable (difficult, dudes) adversary for Rome ๐Ÿคบ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ.

When you succeed, you incite greed ๐Ÿ’ฐโœจ

What a rhyming couplet! Brilliant. Bravo whoever wrote this book ๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ‘. Everyone wanted what Rome had and any system that grows so large becomes stretched and taut. Gaps appear like the Guinness World Record Largest Bubblegum Bubble Ever Recorded ๐ŸŽˆ. Soon, it splits and gum gets on your face and hair and toenails and dog and dad and dodgy dodo ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฆค. Tax revenue within Roman lands dwindled and costs rose as its armies battled on โš”๏ธ๐Ÿ’ธ. Everything comes down to having enough to pay for what you need. If you donโ€™t, you must borrow or cut corners, and both are doomed to failure ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ’”. Rome itself was far away from where the juicy stuff was - the East ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‘€. Emperor Constantine did the sensible thing when your empire is losing money, he built a city called Constantinople in the 4th century (what a big-headed thing to do) full of lavish, breathtakingly beautiful architecture, and expensive opulence ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ’Ž. It was the bridge between Europe and Asia. A bridge over the world to connect the East and the West ๐ŸŒ‰โœˆ๏ธ. Fly my dodos, fly! ๐Ÿฆค๐Ÿ’จ Key vocabulary:

Exorbitantย 

Adjective

Overly expensive

Infrastructure

Noun

Roads and important things like irrigation, pipes etc..

Fleeting

Adjective

Brief

Grandiose

Adjective

Impressive

Eulogise

Verbย 

To remember

Successive

Adjective

The next and the next and the next

Expenditure

Noun

Money spent on things needed

Folly

Noun

Foolishness

Galvanise

Verb

To spur and jolt someone to move or act

Centralise

Verb

To make decisions in one place, not manyย 

Further study:



4 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page