Adventures on the Ancient Silk RoadBook - 2009
The fabled Silk Road conjures up the sights, smells and sounds of faraway lands: great and diverse cultures separated by deserts sands or windswept mountain passes. But traveling the Silk Road took years, often through bleak and rugged country with few inhabitants. Those who set out fought off bandits, battled starvation and survived treacherous storms.
Adventures introduces readers to three great historical figures:
Chinese Buddhist Xuanzang's (travels 629 -- 645AD), 16-year epic journey from China to India and back is the only source of information we have for huge chunks of the history and geography of this time. His successful search for Buddhist scriptures changed the course of two great nations and he remains an enduring hero of folklore.
Mongolian Genghis Khan (war travels 1201 -- 1227), bred from infancy to be a warrior, brought the Mongol clans together into a fighting nation to rule the Silk Road and establish the greatest empire the world had seen.
Italian merchant Marco Polo (travels 1271 -- 1295) journeyed through China for 24 years. His journeys changed the way Europe saw the world beyond its borders. His book even inspired Columbus to sail west across the Atlantic Ocean in search of China.
Stunning photographs and art depicting the ancient routes and peoples bring the stories to life. Maps, sidebars and an afterword that highlights the story of the Silk Road are also featured. In the end we too come to know the lands the three travelers explored, and how they were greeted--or cheated--by the folks along the way.