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Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present (2009)

af Christopher I. Beckwith

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366770,481 (3.71)4
A classic book now available on audio With narration by Jim Lee, who tells the epic story of the rise and fall of the Silk Road empires The first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Empires of the Silk Road represents a fundamental rethinking of the origins, history, and significance of this major world region. Christopher Beckwith describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In addition, he explains why the heartland of Central Eurasia led the world economically, scientifically, and artistically for many centuries despite invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and others. In retelling the story of the Old World from the perspective of Central Eurasia, Beckwith provides a new understanding of the internal and external dynamics of the Central Eurasian states and shows how their people repeatedly revolutionized Eurasian civilization. Beckwith recounts the Indo-Europeans' migration out of Central Eurasia, their mixture with local peoples, and the resulting development of the Graeco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations; he details the basis for the thriving economy of premodern Central Eurasia, the economy's disintegration following the region's partition by the Chinese and Russians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the damaging of Central Eurasian culture by Modernism; and he discusses the significance for world history of the partial reemergence of Central Eurasian nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Empires of the Silk Road places Central Eurasia within a world historical framework and demonstrates why the region is central to understanding the history of civilization.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
As most other reviews have pointed out, a passable book on the subject until the bizarre left field turn towards the end when the book becomes a diatribe against modernism. ( )
  pithyname | Sep 30, 2023 |
Very broad scope, geographically and in time span. But because the author wants to cover so much, it becomes soon a sequence of names and kingdoms and events, which for a non-specialist makes it difficult to get through. Ande, to my taste, a strong ant-Chinese biais. ( )
  deblemrc | Jan 30, 2021 |
Interesting. Well written. Scholarly. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
As a long standing scholar of inner Eurasia, I found this book persuasive, factual and theoretically interesting. It draws on wide empirical sources to support and interpret this region as legitimating the geopolitical thesis of world island / heartland. Moreover it adds a half century of new tadata to build on Owen Lattimore's seminal work "Inner Asian Frontiers" that first establishes the premise that inner Eurasia was central to old world history while "civilizations" were peripheral. As to any comment on what other reviews labeled as a so-called "diatribe" it was so tangential that I barely noticed it. In short, I have used excerpts from this book as a reading for graduate courses on both historical geography of inner Eurasia and the Silk Road. Highly recommended for both lay readers and academics.
2 stem jambroman | May 21, 2017 |
I would have given this four stars (I reserve five for extraordinary works) if not for the weird 30 page diatribe against modernism taword the end which was so out there and not connected that I began to question all else that was written. Besides for that however it was an interesting broad history which attempts to pull central asia from the periphery of know empires and place it at the center of well... asia. The author seemed a little too apologetic for the central asians and too demonizing of the littoral powers (which is interesting as he is unforgiving to others for the reverse) but the book does a good job of presenting a portrait of the long sweep of eurasian history. This is not a book for a begginer not because of the level of writing but rather the risk of taking everything in the book as unassailable truth without knowledge of dissenting opinions. I would still highly recommend the book to anyone with a solid general knowledge of history as it does a wonderful job of joining the histories of regions usually thought of as unconnecting and showing how they fit into a larger whole. ( )
2 stem bareretz | May 17, 2015 |
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Christopher I. Beckwithprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Lee, JimFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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(Prologue) Born in a bygone age long ago,

Descendant of the wild horse, Zûla Khan,

Bûmba’s grandson, the gentle khan,

Son of Üzeng, the famous khan:

Janghar the matchless he was.

When he reached the tender age of two

A cruel dragon invaded his homeland

And he was left an orphan.

Attaining the age of three, up onto

Auburn—his charger in his third year—he

Scrambled and mounted,

Smashed the gates of three great fortresses, and

Subdued the great dragon, the ruthless one.
            

 —From Janghar
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(Introduction) Central Eurasia1 is the vast, largely landlocked area in between Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia,2 and the sub-Arctic and Arctic taïga-tundra zone.
(Prologue) The Lord of Heaven above impregnated the daughter of the Lord of the Waters below, and a son was miraculously born.
(Chapter 1) The Central Eurasian Culture Complex, which dominated much of Eurasia for nearly four millennia, developed among a people known only from historical linguistics: the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
This book presents a new view of the history of Central Eurasia and the other parts of the Eurasian continent directly involved in Central Eurasian history.
In support of the research and writing of this book I was awarded an Indiana University Summer Faculty Fellowship (2004); a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship (2004-2005), tenure taken in Tokyo, Japan; and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2004-2005), tenure taken in 2005-2006 in Bloomington and in Dénia, Spain.
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A classic book now available on audio With narration by Jim Lee, who tells the epic story of the rise and fall of the Silk Road empires The first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Empires of the Silk Road represents a fundamental rethinking of the origins, history, and significance of this major world region. Christopher Beckwith describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In addition, he explains why the heartland of Central Eurasia led the world economically, scientifically, and artistically for many centuries despite invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and others. In retelling the story of the Old World from the perspective of Central Eurasia, Beckwith provides a new understanding of the internal and external dynamics of the Central Eurasian states and shows how their people repeatedly revolutionized Eurasian civilization. Beckwith recounts the Indo-Europeans' migration out of Central Eurasia, their mixture with local peoples, and the resulting development of the Graeco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations; he details the basis for the thriving economy of premodern Central Eurasia, the economy's disintegration following the region's partition by the Chinese and Russians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the damaging of Central Eurasian culture by Modernism; and he discusses the significance for world history of the partial reemergence of Central Eurasian nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Empires of the Silk Road places Central Eurasia within a world historical framework and demonstrates why the region is central to understanding the history of civilization.

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