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The Silks Roads Summary and Guide - Pages 8-16

The Big Idea - Fattened Falcons - pages 8-16

A melting pot of ideas

Now that we know that the East and West were both looking toward each other, and that the West was just a lot of people rolling around in mud and Mesopotamian cow poop, it makes sense that some striking similarities emerge. The story Helen of Troy was inspired/ripped off from that of Lady Sita by Ravana. The Egyptian day of Ra is the same as Christmas Day, and Mithra, the Persian god, was also born on December 25th. Often, the ideas we think are isolated to one nation or culture are absolutely NOT! Except in America who are the only people in the whole world to not put U in Colour!!! Grrrrrrrr….

“Don’t move…the Mongols can only see you when you move.”

Nobody said that. That’s from Jurassic Park about T-Rexes, but China was terrified of the Mongol tribes even as, under the Han (206 B.C.E - 220 C.E), they pushed West. Everyone was so frightened of the savage Mongolian tribes and they bribed them to just LEAVE US ALONE every year with increasingly grandiose presents and gifts. Needless to say, paying off a nomadic tribe was sure to end in tears and so nearly did. They resolved to make a concerted attack on the Mongols high on the Steppes. Over decades, they fought to control the corridor of Gansu, the road to the West and a world of trade and chocolate (?)! That ice cream cone is massive!

It wasn’t an ice cream cone, you silly billy nilly. It was Mount Everest - ho ho ho. The Chinese reached a junction at the Himalayas - that great dividing wall in Asia, but with an insatiable demand for horses and goods to control the internal turmoil in China, they needed horsies - especially celestial and magnificent Tianma horses. !!!NEIGHHHHHHHHH!!! Of course, to buy such lovely horses, they needed a currency and the only currency people seemed to really like was silk - the great secret worm bottom delight! It essentially became a currency, like money and doughnuts, to pay for traded goods with the West. Hence, the Silk Roads were born because people spent silk!!! Huzzah. This also led to the first globalisation of trade and commerce, long before the age of dimwitted internet users (YOU and Me - cry). 

What about the fattened falcons?

Over in Rome, some militaristic, lean and mean Romans (deadly and robust falcons!) started building an empire in the Mediterranean and spreading rapidly. They were organised and professional soldiers with strong principles (the Roman Gods? Totally copied from the Greeks!). They conquered Gaul in 52 B.C.E., realised it was just people rolling about in mud, so tried to conquer the East. Alexandria (Cairo now) was massively wealthy from the crops grown along the Nile. Cleopatra, Julius Caesar’s girlfriend, sided against Octavian, who was against Marc Anthony (who supported Caesar - who was now very dead). Confused? Onwards! Her side lost and Octavian took over Egypt and all of those lovely Nile crocodiles. He became Augustus and advanced the empire massively. Money flooded into the Roman Empire and they truly became a great empire. Then, they looked East for even more trade. This helped them become affluent beyond their wildest dreams, but also very fat and lazy as too much money removed the toughness that made them unbeatable. They traded with even India, but the very thing that made them so powerful, spelled their downfall! They became fattened falcons, unable to fly and hunt (*SEE!*)

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