A HISTORY OF SILK ROAD
by Jonathan Clements
Details Publication Date: April 2017
The Silk Road is a route from the edges of the European world to the central plains of China. For thousands of years, its history has been a traveller’s history, of brief encounters in desert towns, snowbound passes and nameless forts. It was the conduit that first brought Buddhism, Christianity and Islam into China, and the site of much of the ‘Great Game’ between Victorian empires. Jonathan Clements guides the reader through the trackless wastes of the Taklamakan Desert, its black whirlwinds and dead lakes, its shimmering mirages, lost cities and mysterious mummies, but also its iconic statues and memorable modern pop songs. He explains the truth behind odd tales of horses that sweat blood, defaced statues and missing frescoes, and Marco Polo’s stories of black gold that seeps from the earth.
Dr Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asian history, including biographies of emperors and empresses, statesmen and warriors, foreign visitors and outcast rebels. His works have been translated into over a dozen languages, including French, Spanish, Korean and Dutch. His biographies of the First Emperor and Empress Wu have both been translated into Chinese. He has been a consultant and talking head on many TV programmes including New Secrets of the Terracotta Warriors (Channel 4), Koxinga: Sailing into History (National Geographic), China’s Jade Empire (Channel 4), and Ancient Black Ops: The 47 Ronin (UK Yesterday). In 2016, he became the presenter of Route Awakening (National Geographic), a series investigating the origins of several key Chinese cultural icons.