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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road - Essay Example

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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road

On the other hand, the Silk Road, also known as the Silk Route, is comprised of a progression of cultural and trade conduction routes that extend about 4,000 miles (Whitfield 2004, p. 23). It got its name from the Chinese silk trade that was conducted along it from the 206 BC era of the Han Dynasty and greatly contributed to the civilization and development of China, Arabia, Europe, Persia and the Indian subcontinent. Silk was the main item of trade but, inadvertently, different cultures, philosophies and religions interacted as economic and political exchanges took place between different civilizations. The diversity of the cultures that interacted on the Silk Road is evident in the manner in which it linked China, India, Europe and the Middle East and facilitated Buddhism’s transmission to China from India and, consequently, Japan and Korea. Buddhist missionaries, travelers and merchants carried along their religious convictions, values and beliefs to distant territories, attracting converts along the way. This paper will discuss the degree to which Buddhism provided a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road. ...
The roads and bridges may have had an underlying administrative and military objective, but they also opened up trade and encouraged exchanges between many diverse communities. The Silk Road was among the roads and routes built to expand the scope of trade and enhance its security, covering most of Eurasia and the northern part of Africa. With the Han Empire maintaining order in China and providing access to western markets and Bactria, merchants from different backgrounds interacted in trade, promoting the spread of their cultures. Traders from different regions exchanged ideas and customs as they traversed the land in search and sale of commodities. Therefore, the Silk Road promoted more than commodity exchange and included culture as well. Buddhism, for example, spread from the Kushan kingdom to other parts of Asia (Hill 2009, p. 69). The degree to which Buddhism provided a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road is manifested by the way the faith spread within all cities, towns and centers along the trade route. Among the great missionary faiths, the first that took advantage of the Silk Road’s mobility was Buddhism, extending its reach beyond its indigenous grounds in the north eastern part of India within the first century BC. After Military conquests and trade, Buddhism is the next most notable factor that linked the regions of India, to Central Asia and the present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan as early as 206 BC upto the 8th century AD. The transnational link facilitated the establishment of a political empire by the Hephthalites, which covered the expanse from the northern Indian plains to Afghanistan. Politically, the empire ...Show more

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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road? Name: Institution: To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road? Buddhism is an indigenous Indian religion encompassing various traditions, practices and beliefs founded largely on the teachings provided by Siddhartha Gautama, who came to be known commonly as the Buddha, denoting the “awakened”…
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