The Silk Roads, the World’s First Globalization

Moderator: Marybeth Bridegam
Role of participants: Presentation and discussion.
Number of participants (including the moderator): 17
Time: Tuesdays, 10:15 am–12:15 pm [Note: later time]
Place: Amherst Media, 246 College Street (Route 9, toward Belchertown), Amherst
Parking: Ample parking on site

We will explore Silk Roads adventures and why this area of the world had such a magnetic attraction for so many people, for over 2,000 years.

Globalization is defined by Wikipedia as “…international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and other aspects of culture”.  This is an excellent definition of the Silk Roads – beginning in China and culminating at the Mediterranean Sea, going through many Asian and Middle Eastern countries to connect East to West.

For nearly 2,000 years, innumerable people braved the vast expanses of Central Asia, one of the most hostile environments on our planet. We will explore the surprising part that The Heavenly Horses played in the origin of The Silk Roads, and why silk was such an integral part of this global exchange.  We will discover the huge diversity of ideas and products that many consider Western, but which came to the West from the East.

Members of the class may wish to investigate the Silk Road writings of Marco Polo, Herodotus, or others; or tell us about new ideas, discoveries or outstanding figures like Tamerlane or Genghis Khan, who came along the Silk Roads – in either directionOr they may choose to tell about Silk Road adventures during any of its 20 centuries in the past, or why it faded in the 15th century, but is being renewed in the 21st.

Format: Seminar – Flexible; Discuss your ideas for your presentation with the Moderator

Resources: The moderator will suggest resources to participants for each topic.

The Moderator: Marybeth is an experienced moderator and has had a lifelong interest in The Silk Roads. She has traveled in China, Tibet, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan and Turkhmenistan.

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