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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

History (HIST)

HIST 186 (IL) (ASIA 186) The Silk Roads (3) A survey of the Silk Roads and maritime routes connecting premodern Europe and Asia, and the cultures that flourished along them.

HIST 186

HIST 186 The Silk Roads (3)

What do medieval Buddhist pilgrims, Mongol warriors, Marco Polo, and nineteenth-century British secret agents all have in common? What were the “information highways” that connected people and cultures across the premodern world? Taking crosscultural communication and connectivity as its central themes, this course explores the central role that the Silk Roads and Indian Ocean maritime routes have played throughout Eurasian history. It provides a historical survey of the land and sea trade networks connecting Europe and Asia, and the cultures that have flourished along them. The course explores connections between China, Rome, Byzantium, Persia, the Mongol Empire, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. It covers exchanges of art, religion, cultural, technological, and economic goods. It also includes discussion of ethnic conflict and cultural identity in Central Asia, the importance of global trade routes in shaping the modern world, and the representation of the Silk Roads in contemporary popular culture. The focus of the course is to provide students with an appreciation of the interconnectivity of the premodern world, as well as the vital role of the trade system in the development of the major civilizations of Eurasia.


General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2016

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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