Silk Road

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes which connected the East and West, was central to the economic, cultural and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. The Silk Road refers to the land routes connecting East Asia and Southeast Asia with South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southern Europe; the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk carried out along its length, beginning in the Han dynasty in China. The Han dynasty expanded the Central Asian section of the trade routes around 114 BCE through the missions and explorations of the Chinese imperial envoy Zhang Qian, as well as several military conquests; the Chinese took great interest in the security of their trade products, extended the Great Wall of China to ensure the protection of the trade route. The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, the Horn of Africa and Arabia, opening long-distance political and economic relations between the civilizations.

Though silk was the major trade item exported from China, many other goods and ideas were exchanged, including religions, syncretic philosophies and technologies like paper and gunpowder. So in addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was a route for cultural trade among the civilizations along its network. Diseases, most notably plague spread along the Silk Road. In June 2014, UNESCO designated the Chang'an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road as a World Heritage Site; the Indian portion is on the tentative site list. The Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative silk, first developed in China and a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network; the German term Seidenstraße was coined in 1877 by Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872. The term "Silk Route" is used. Although the term was coined in the 19th century, it did not gain widespread acceptance in academia or popularity among the public until the 20th century.

The first book entitled The Silk Road was by Swedish geographer Sven Hedin in 1938. Use of the term'Silk Road' is not without its detractors. For instance, Warwick Ball contends that the maritime spice trade with India and Arabia was far more consequential for the economy of the Roman Empire than the silk trade with China, which at sea was conducted through India and on land was handled by numerous intermediaries such as the Sogdians. Going as far as to call the whole thing a "myth" of modern academia, Ball argues that there was no coherent overland trade system and no free movement of goods from East Asia to the West until the period of the Mongol Empire, he notes that traditional authors discussing East-West trade such as Marco Polo and Edward Gibbon never labelled any route a "silk" one in particular. The southern stretches of the Silk Road, from Khotan to Eastern China, were first used for jade and not silk, as long as 5000 BCE, is still in use for this purpose; the term "Jade Road" would have been more appropriate than "Silk Road" had it not been for the far larger and geographically wider nature of the silk trade.

Central Eurasia has been known from ancient times for its horse riding and horse breeding communities, the overland Steppe Route across the northern steppes of Central Eurasia was in use long before that of the Silk Road. Archeological sites such as the Berel burial ground in Kazakhstan, confirmed that the nomadic Arimaspians were not only breeding horses for trade but great craftsmen able to propagate exquisite art pieces along the Silk Road. From the 2nd millennium BCE, nephrite jade was being traded from mines in the region of Yarkand and Khotan to China; these mines were not far from the lapis lazuli and spinel mines in Badakhshan, although separated by the formidable Pamir Mountains, routes across them were in use from early times. Some remnants of what was Chinese silk dating from 1070 BCE have been found in Ancient Egypt; the Great Oasis cities of Central Asia played a crucial role in the effective functioning of the Silk Road trade. The originating source seems sufficiently reliable, but silk degrades rapidly, so it cannot be verified whether it was cultivated silk or a type of wild silk, which might have come from the Mediterranean or Middle East.

Following contacts between Metropolitan China and nomadic western border territories in the 8th century BCE, gold was introduced from Central Asia, Chinese jade carvers began to make imitation designs of the steppes, adopting the Scythian-style animal art of the steppes. This style is reflected in the rectangular belt plaques made of gold and bronze, with other versions in jade and steatite. An elite burial near Stuttgart, dated to the 6th century BCE, was excavated and found to have not only Greek bronzes but Chinese silks. Similar animal-shaped pieces of art and wrestler motifs on belts have been found in Scythian grave sites stretching from the Black Sea region all the way to Warring States era archaeological sites in Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi in China; the expansion of Scythian cultures, stretching from the Hungarian plain and the Carpathian Mountains to the Chinese Kansu Corridor, linking the Middle East with Northern India and the Punjab, undoubtedly played an important role in the development of the Silk Road.

Scythians accompanied the Assyrian Esarhaddon on his invasion of Egypt, their distinctive triangular arrowhead


Koriun was the earliest Armenian-language author. Writing in the fifth century, his Life of Mashtots contains many details about the evangelization of Armenia and the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots; some Armenian and European scholars, such as G. Alishan, O. Torosyan, G. Fintigliyan, A. Sarukhan, G. Ter-Mkrtchyan, S. Weber and others, have speculated that Koriun could have been an ethnic Georgian or Georgian-Armenian. Having received his early education under Mashtots, Koriun went to Byzantium for higher studies, returning to Armenia with other students in 432, he was a close friend of Eznik Ghevond. He was appointed Bishop of Georgia, he has been listed among the junior translators. His style is somewhat obscure due to grammatical irregularities. To him have been attributed the translations of the three apocryphal books of the Maccabees. Koryun was the origin of the claim. After the death of Mashtots, Koryun was tasked by Hovsep Hoghotsmetsi, one of the spiritual leaders at that time, to start writing Mesrop's biography.

Now his work is known as "Varq Mashtotsi". He finished his work before new political developments in the region. In the modern period it was translated into Russian, English and German. Koryun, The Life of Mashtots

1969 in Canadian television

The following is a list of events affecting Canadian television in 1969. Events listed include television show debuts, finales and channel launches and rebrandings. Country Canada CBC News Magazine Chez Hélène Circle 8 Ranch The Friendly Giant Hockey Night in Canada The National Front Page Challenge Wayne and Shuster Show Audubon Wildlife Theatre CTV National News Elwood Glover's Luncheon Date The Galloping Gourmet Land and Sea Man Alive Mr. Dressup Music Hop The Nature of Things People in Conflict The Pierre Berton Show The Pig and Whistle Question Period Reach for the Top Singalong Jubilee Take 30 Telescope The Tommy Hunter Show University of the Air W-FIVE 1969 in Canada List of Canadian films