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The Silks Roads Summary and Guide - Chapter 3 - The Road to a Christian East - Pages 45-49



“I laugh at you, puny humans.” Screeched nature 😈 Everyone stopped arguing over religious grounds and beliefs in the 4th century as the climate made humans realise how puny we really are 🌍. Climatic changes raged in Europe and saw sea levels rise, flooding lands 🌊. In the East, glaciers advanced and famines became common ❄️🍽️. ‘An army marches on its stomach’, Napoleon once said, and a country thinks with its stomach. A hungry nation is an unstable one on the verge of removing its leaders, no matter who they are. The conditions high up on the Steppes meant that people were forced to flee. A band of hungry, desperate people rained down on Europe and tribes broke through the Roman defences and threatened the Persians 😱.


Need = innovation 💡 Wars are frequently frightful times, but they do have one huge advantage. They drive innovation. So it was with the Romans and Persians trying to beat back the angry tribes descending from the Steppes. Persia built a huge wall! I know, I know. That sounds babyish, but remember, back then, architectural knowledge was so limited. A massive wall was a marvel. It was 125 miles long. Imagine organising a team to build something that large 🏗️. I mean, the Great Wall of China built to keep out other tribes from the Steppes, is 21,196km long, but who’s counting? WE ARE! Nevertheless, the Persians made bricks that were identical!!!! OMG!!!!!! It was amazingly modern and fabulous. However, the biggest innovation was that the Romans and Persians looked at each other and said, “Wow, those Huns are horrible. Let’s help each other.” A great alliance was formed in the face of an even worse enemy than each other. Could humans do the same to stop climate change? 🌱🤝


Alarm..Alarm..Alaric ⏰ And so, the Roman Empire lived happily ever alarm…alarm…Alaric. It didn’t. In 410, it was overwhelmed when an irate leader called Alaric marched down from the Steppes and waltzed (fought and scrapped) up to the very gates of Rome with his band of Visigoths. He demanded money, waited, became bored, and sacked the city. This sent huge shockwaves through the Roman Empire…how could Rome fall? 🏛️💔


You ain't seen nothin’ yet, peeps,” Said Attilla the Hun (never) 😎 Oh my word…I’m excited. Attila is here. He’s really here. He’s absolutely awful and terrifying, but he’s here. Attila is rather famous (infamous!) in history for leading the really, really nasty Huns (they were quite formidable and savage, let’s be honest). He had chased everyone from the Steppes and now he came! His soldiers wore uniforms made from mice pelts (yes, really) 🐭 and spent so much time riding horses that their bones were often bent and deformed 🐴. They ate plant roots (hey - they’re vegan…how lovely! 🌱) and raw meat (oh, no, I take it back 🥩). Much of this could be untrue, but enough is. They were incredibly, astonishingly effective at beating everyone up. They rampaged across the Eastern side of the Roman Empire and laid waste to so much of the knowledge and technology of the ancient world. Thanks a lot Attila (it’s okay, he’s been dead for almost a thousand years, so he can’t hear me). The fall of Rome led to THE VERY, VERY, VERY DARK AGES. Science, knowledge, and thought went very quiet 🌌📚.

Key vocabulary ... oh no, Alaric sacked the definitions! Find them:

Abate 

Verb 


Animosity

Noun


Climactic

Adjective


Apocalyptic  

Adjective


Buckle

Verb 


Onslaught 

Noun


Innovative

Adjective


Horde

Noun


Devastation

Noun


Resonate

Verb




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