What were the aspects of the geography and ecology of Central Asia that led to the rise of pastoral nomadism and irrigation agriculture.

The Silk Road – Writer’s Choice

Essay questions:
1). What were the aspects of the geography and ecology of Central Asia that led to the rise of pastoral nomadism and irrigation agriculture. Did they lead to trade?

2). Discuss what contribution art and iconography made to the diffusion of religious traditions along the Silk Road?

3). To what degree did either Buddhism or Islam (choose one of the two) provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road? The question asks you to view the believers’ religiosity and the active spread of religious beliefs as stimulating cultural exchange and facilitating commercial activities.

4). What were the characteristic components of international trade along the Silk Road in the Pre-Mongol era (pre-13th century); the traders, their means of transport, their goods, their geographical range, the currency they used and so on? To what extent was this trade dominated by the major empires situated at either end of the Silk Road?

5). Would you agree with the statement that, “International trade shaped the economy, culture and civilisation of many Central Asian Silk Road societies in the pre-Mongol era”. Compare the impact of this international trade to other forces such as economic, political and cultural forces that were at work in the societies along the Silk Road.

6). Discuss and express your opinion of the veracity of the claim that, “After arriving in China, religions imported from the Silk Road were changed almost beyond recognition.”

7). Nomadic pastoralists founded states and even empires along the Silk Road, using examples discuss the methods they used in this process and the particular problems they faced.

8) What were the most important features of political and military relations along the long Eurasian border between agrarian states and pastoralists? You must illustrate your arguments with specific examples (for example, what kind of threats and opportunities did the nomadic pastoralists present for China?)

What were the aspects of the geography and ecology of Central Asia that led to the rise of pastoral nomadism and irrigation agriculture.

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