The Silk Roads

It has taken a bit more time than usual but really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of new facts. I love history and in school we were very focus in European history and neglected greatly all other parts of the world. In this book you can read about the importance of the routes between Europe and Asia along the centuries. Because all great empires were supported through commerce. From the constant battles between Ancient Greece and Persia, Rome, the pressure of the mongol empires from the East, Christianity, Byzantium, the rise of Islam and its lighting spread from Arabia to westerm Europe and the far east, the religion wars, crusaders, etc. It is interesting Vikings travelled “south” to commerce with the east, mainly with slaves captured in the way down. That slaves were the most profitable business. That the word”slave” comes from “slav” so those were the tribes mainly captures to become slaves and sold to the current empire and business centers between Europe/Asia. That luxury was a main drive in business: obviously silk and spices. How the discovery of America by the Spaniards was a waste of resources in European wars, and crashed South American population and culture. How Christian religion looked somewhere else at that time (link1 link2) apart from Dominican Bartolome de Las Casas. Funny enough the next-to-come empires (Dutch and English) did the same… And is funny too how tolerant was Islam for centuries and intolerant Christianity (has changed this?)

Then it comes the last couple of centuries.The heavy industrialization, the desire to maintain the status-quo, etc. For me was mind-blowing the approach for the WW1 and WW2. WW1 was to maintain the empires against the new forces: Germany and Russia. The goal was mainly keeping the East under control (India during English Empire time – that is bigger than current one..) and the new gold, petrol (Persia aka Iran, Mesopotamia aka Irak, etc). But the war was mainly fought in mainland Europe… Then you see the lack of scruples from Britain and then America dealing with the countries in the East. Then you can understand all the mess we see in Irak, Iran, Afghanistan… And Ukraine. Germany tried to conquest URSS during WW2 to get Ukraine as it was considered the granerie of Europe… and the south part of URSS so it could control the petrol supplies too. As well, you see the times when Iran and Israel were friends xD. Funny enough all the nuclear technology in Iran is from USA. USA got involved in Afganistan when the URSS invaded it (I will always remember the movies Rambo III and Red Scorpion) I think nobody from the army watched those movies…

I leave a lot of things behind but it is a great book. I read it as ebook but it is worth have it in paper. Very likely will get the next book.