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Chapter 7 WHAM Reading Questions

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People in inner Asia were unable to produce much of their own agriculture. What goods did they trade with their neighbors in order to get agricultural and manufactured products from them?
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In Central Asia, silk was used as a currency and as a means of accumulating wealth. In both China and the Byzantine empire, silk became a symbol of high status and governments passed laws that restricted silk clothing to members of the elite. Some silks were inscribed with passages in Arabic from the Quran, unbeknownst to their European buyers. By the 12th century, the west African king of Ghana was wearing silk and that fabric circulated in Egypt, Ethiopia and along the East African coast as well.
Buddhism spread widely throughout Central and East Asia strongly due to the merchants along the Silk Roads. Buddhism had appealed to merchants who preferred its universal message. Indian traders & Buddhist monks, sometimes supported by rulers, brought the new religion to the trans-eurasian trade routes.
One was the economic and political revival of China, some 4 centuries after the collapse of the Han dynasty. Especially during the Tang & Song dynasties (618-1279), China reestablished an effective and unified state, which actively encouraged maritime trade. A second transformation involved the sudden rise of Islam in the seventh century CE and its subsequent spread across much of the Afro-Eurasian world.
When Malay sailors, long active in the waters around Southeast Asia opened an all route between India & China through Straits of Malacca and 350 CE, the many small ports along the Malay Peninsula & the coast of Sunatra began to compete intensely to attract the growing numbers of traders and travelers making their way around the straits. From this competition emerged the Malay kingdom of Srivijaya, which dominated this critical choke point of Indian Ocean trade from 670 to 1025.