The Silk Road

  • 100

    Silk in Rome

    Silk comes to Rome for the 1st time.
  • Period: 100 to Feb 7, 1500

    Time span of the Silk Road

  • 200

    Silk in Korea

    Chinese immigrants bring silk-making secret to Korea. (1st time secret leaves China).
  • 202

    Han Dynasty

    Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220)
  • 323

    Alexander The Great

    Alexander the Great's Empire reaches N. India and the Ferghana Valley (W. China).
  • Feb 7, 600

    Xuan Zhang

    Xuan Zhang crossed the region on his way to obtain Buddhist scriptures from India. This is significant because he helped to further education about Buddhism in China.
  • Feb 7, 600

    Muslim Religion in Asia

    Islam (Muslim religion) spreads from Arabia to Central Asia.
  • Feb 7, 630

    Tang Dynasty conquered

    The Tang Dynasty conquered the Eastern Turks.
  • Feb 7, 640


    To strengthen its military management and to protect the Silk Road, the Protectorate General to Pacify the West was installed with four garrisons: Qiuci (Kuqa), Yanqi (Qarashar), Yutian (Hetian or Khotan) and Shule (Kashgar)
  • Feb 7, 664

    Xuan Zhang

    The famous Chinese monk Xuanzang (602–664) traveled the Silk Road during this period. He began his trip from Chang'an (today's Xi'an), passed through the Hexi Corridor (the area west of the Yellow River), Hami (Xinjiang Region), and Turpan (Xinjiang Region) and continued westward to India.
  • Feb 7, 755

    Anshi Rebellion

    Anshi Rebellion broke out and lasted for seven years. After the rebellion, the Silk Road began to decline.
  • Feb 7, 760

    End of the Silk Road

    By 760 AD, the Tang Government had lost control of the Western Region and trade on the Silk Road ceased.
  • Feb 7, 1223

    Ban Yong

    Using clever diplomacy and military talent, Ban Yong stabilized the Western Regions and reopened the Silk Road in this remote area.
  • Feb 7, 1261

    European traders arrive

    It was at this time that Europeans first ventured towards the lands of the `Seres'. The earliest were probably Fransiscan friars who are reported to have visited the Mongolian city of Karakorum. The first Europeans to arrive at Kubilai's court were Northern European traders, who arrived in 1261. This is significant because Europeans were integrating with the Chinese.
  • Feb 7, 1262

    The Mongolian Empire

    The Mongolian Empire was to be fairly short-lived. Splits between the different khans had erupted as early as 1262. This is significant because they succumbed to a resurgence of Chinese nationalism, and China grew.
  • Feb 7, 1271

    Marco Polo

    The most well known and best documented visitor was the Italian Marco Polo. Starting in 1271, at the age of only seventeen, his travels across Persia, and then along the southern branch of the Silk Road, via Khotan, finally ending at the court of Kubilai Khan at Khanbalik, the site of present-day Beijing, and the summer palace, better known as Xanadu.
  • Feb 7, 1271

    Genghis Khan

    Trade on the Silk Road revived and reached its zenith during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), when China became largely dependent on its silk trade. Genghis Khan conquered all the small states, unified China, and built a large empire under his rule.
  • Feb 7, 1295

    Marco Polo captured

    After Marco Polo's return to the West in 1295, he was captured as a prisoner of war in Genoa, when serving in the Venetian forces.
  • Feb 7, 1307

    New Religions

    The most popular religion in China at the time was Daoism, which at first the Mongols favoured. However, from the middle of the thirteenth century onwards, buddhist influence increased, and the early lamaist Buddhism from Tibet was particularly favoured. The two religions existed side by side for a long period during the Yuan dynasty. Christianity first made headway in China in this period, and the first arch-bishopric set up in Beijing in 1307. New religion was introduced, changing the culture.
  • Feb 7, 1368

    The Ming Dynasty

    The Yuan dynasty was finally replaced by the Ming dynasty in 1368. This is significant because it was the end of an era.
  • Tang Dynasty

    In the early Tang Dynasty (618–917) the Silk Road was controlled by the Tuque Tribe, allying with small states in the Western Region against the government, and disrupting trade.
  • Zhang Qian

    From 138 BC, Emperor Wu dispatched Zhang Qian twice as his envoy to the Western Regions, and in the process pioneered the route known as the Silk Road from Chang'an, through Xinjiang and Central Asia, and on to the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.