Religious and Economic Significance of Silk Road
The name Silk Road was derived from the fact that the road was used to transport silk. This route not only transported goods, but also exchanged wonderful cultures of Rome, Greek, India, Arabia, and Persia (James, 2011). It was the home of several traders across the world. Traders came from all over the globe to trade culturally rich item
Figure 1. A piece of silk that was transported through the Silk Road
The Silk Road played a vital role in introducing religions of the west into China. The Islamic religions spread very fast on the Silk Road partly because of its location in Mecca (Kurin, 2017). Many people traveled in and out of Mecca and this led to a quick spread of Islamic beliefs. The Silk Road also led to the spread of other religions like Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Nestorianism.
Figure 2. Sculptures of the Silk Road
The cultural exchange between the West and China provided mutual benefit and attained common progress. The four main developments in China (printing, paper making, gunpowder, and compass) and silk spinning were transported to the West(Nanji & Niyozov, 2017). This resulted in the development of the entire globe. Conversely, most of the advanced technologies in China were exported to the West. Material cultural exchange was also carried out on the Silk Road (Kuzmina & Mair, 2015). A good number of products of the West were sold in China, for instance, carrots, peppers, grapes, walnuts, and medicinal materials, among others. Additionally, Silk Road was significant because it helped to generate commerce and trade between several kingdoms and empires (Sohn, 2017). This resulted in the spread of inventions, ideas, and exceptional products across the world.
James, N. (2011). Silk Road riches no embarrassment. Antiquity, 85(328), 654-656.
Kurin, R. (2017). The Silk Road: Connecting people and cultures. Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Retrieved from,
Kuzmina, E., & Mair, V. (2015). The Prehistory of the Silk Road (1st ed.). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Nanji, A., & Niyozov, S. (2017). The Silk Road: Crossroads and encounters of faiths. Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Retrieved from
Sohn, H. (2017). An invitation to the Silk Road: The Silk Road encyclopedia. Journal of Eurasian Studies.