The Silk Road: Ancient Trading Routes

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce.  As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Road’ became 'Silk Routes’ as historians discovered the true years of history behind the common and recognized name.
 Around 60 A.D., the west had become aware that silk was not grown on the trees in China but was actually spun by silk worms. The Chinese had very purposefully kept the origin of silk a secret and, once the secret was out, they guarded their silk worms and their process of harvesting the silk ​carefully.
The Silk Road: Ancient Trading Routes - a map of the silk route
The Silk Road routes stretched from China through India, Asia Minor, up throughout Mesopotamia, to Egypt, the African continent, Greece, Rome, and Britain. The northern Mesopotamian region (present day Iran) became China’s closest partner in trade, as part of the Parthian Empire, initiating important cultural exchanges. According to the Greek historian Strabo (63-24 A.D.) the Greeks extended their empire as far as the Seres, the name by which the Greeks and Romans knew China, meaning "the land where silk came from."

At one point, the Byzantine emperor Justinian, tired of paying the exorbitant prices the Chinese demanded for silk, sent two emissaries, disguised as monks to China to steal silk worms and smuggle them back to the west. The emperor’s plan was successful and initiated the Byzantine silk industry. 

The closing of the Silk Road forced merchants to take to the sea to ply their trade, thus initiating the Age of Discovery (1453-1660 A.D.) which led to world-wide interaction and the beginnings of a global community. Today, China is still a global leader in high quality silk production and Brave Era is proud to work with its textile suppliers there to provide the highest quality silk products for use around the world.