For what it is necessary to fall in love with long-distance truck drivers? For the Great silk way of
Who did not laugh in the childhood at how the old man Hottabych brought Volka Kostylkov at examination in geography! His lips he stated to examiners geographical knowledge of three-thousand-year prescription, ridiculous for the modern person...
“India, about highly respected my teacher, is almost on the very brink of a terrestrial disk and is separated from this edge by deserted and novel deserts because to the east from it there live neither animals, nor birds“.
However, you should not laugh at this historical geography. Because in similar, apparently, tales one of outstanding feats of mankind - laying of a through trade way from one region of Asia to another is imprinted.
Began to Torit this way already 8 thousand years ago when in the valley of Nile and to Entre Rios there were cities. Practically at the same time there were roads, these settlements connecting and barter was adjusted. Roads began to creep away far for borders of the rendered habitable territories soon. From far away brought ores of metals, jewels. For example, to Egypt from Nubia - gold, from the Sinai Peninsula - copper and turquoise. Carried also a tree, cedars from Lebanon. Turquoise with lazurite was delivered also from mines in present Iran, and by tin, metal without which any “bronze age“ and would not be trace - from Spain. Look at the card, it was for those times real “world`s end“.
Demand for the brought goods was huge. This great demand also began to feed people who did not want to get used for anything to new, settled, to a way of life. Their slogan through many thousands of years was formulated by tireless N. M. Przhevalsky: “And still life is fine the fact that it is possible to travel“ . Ancestors of current “long-distance truck drivers“ well fitted into life of society, having formed a respectable class of merchants.
Merchants transported not only goods, but also and information. However, they stated this information in a look almost fantastic, like the old man Hottabycha. And on that they had serious reasons. In - the first to what to let out to foreign people all secrets got by own long and hard experience? And in - the second, the story had to be attractive to the listener that it had a desire to finance further travel.
And to travel was where. The great Asian continent as if itself would set the direction for future caravans. The mountain chains which are settling down here in the width direction complicate the movement on the North or on the South. But pass from the West on the East and from the East on the West on valleys and on plateaus was quite available. So already at the time of the tsar Solomon (that “Suleyman ibn Daud“ who set in the old man Hottabycha`s jug) goods from India were delivered on coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Pepper and spices were on sale time in hundred more expensive than the production price here. Transportation was repaid repeatedly.
In 4 - m century BC Alexander of Macedon could break the Persian Empire and make the lightning campaign to India in many respects thanks to existence of trade ways on the East. There is no doubt that conductors along this route at it appeared enough. At the same time, being a reasonable conqueror (as - great Aristotle taught him in any way), Alexander did not devastate the won edge, and based the fair number of the cities for trade development there. It is natural that these cities mostly were called Aleksandriyami.
Some of these cities played a role two hundred years later when occurred, so to speak, a bow of civilizations. The Chinese official Zhang Qian opened pass from the Western part of China to Bactria which was in the territory of present Afghanistan, and to Sogdiana (which capital there was a city which is called Samarkand now). It turned out that there is what in China was not: grapes and sweet fruit, jewels and steppe racers. Commodity turnover was adjusted. Already ancient Romans had data on existence of the Chinese empire and used the Chinese goods. However, these goods cost very much.
Such high cost spoke very easily. From the Mediterranean Sea to the capital of Celestial Empire of the empire - it is more than seven thousand kilometers. Trade caravans of that time moved with a speed of 20 - 25 kilometers a day. Means if somebody decided to cover all this distance, it had to spend on the way more than a year. And it only in one party!
As a rule, none of ancient merchants - “long-distance truck drivers“ of such long ends did. Resale happened in big cities then trade caravans came back to the native land with exotic east (or not less exotic, western) goods. The cities which were on the way of caravans grew rich and prospered due to such transit trade. The cost of goods at each “overload“ increased several times.
Great, without any exaggeration, the transcontinental trade way existed up to 15 - go centuries without any name. The term “Great Silk Way“ was entered in scientific and not only scientific use in 1877 by the German geographer and the geologist Ferdinand von Richtgofen (Ferdinand von Richthofen) (1833-1905) . By the way, his nephew, Manfred von Richtgofen (Manfred von Richthofen) (1892-1918) , became famous in the years of World War I as the best fighter pilot, the well-known “red baron“.
In 19 - m a century “The great silk way“ remained only the line on the card. However, the caravan track on steppes and deserts reminds not the asphalt highway, but the movement of the ship on sea waves more. Caravan tracks were displaced in one, in other party, bypassing places impassable, for example, the lifeless desert of Takl - Makan in Central Asia. Bypassed caravans and those places where wars broke out. From the main direction ways in different directions continually branched off. For example, from Bactria caravans went to India and to Persia, and from Sogdiana there was a road through present Kazakh steppes to Volga.
And all - thanks to the uncle of “the red baron“ for the term though overdue, but memorable. Thanks to it “The great silk way“ became a brand. China and the states of Central Asia begin “to untwist“ this brand, seeking to attract tourists to exotic and wild steppes and mountains of Central Asia.