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The Silk Road - Region 2 National Geographic DVD

The Silk Road - Region 2 National Geographic DVD
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Price: £25.99
Availability: Out Of Stock
Model: Region-free DVD
Manufacturer: National Geographic
Average Rating: Not Rated

“When East met West along Asia’s silk route, the collision of culture and tradition changed the course of world history”

This National Geographic ‘Special’ looks at the ethnic beauty and variety of the cultures along the fabled Silk Road that linked China with the Mediterranean.

The rediscovery of the vast no-man’s land in Central Asia that was once one of the most developed and cosmopolitan places on Earth.

Immensely important in the development of Eurasian culture, the Silk Road linked trading cities from China to Europe.

Isolated from one another by enormous distance and rugged mountains, East Asia and Europe first became acquainted in the second century BC when traders began to move goods like cloth, jade, and spices along a system of pathways known today as the ‘Silk Road’.

Originating in the Han capital of Ch'ang-an, the network of routes stretched from China in the east to points in India, Constantinople (now Istanbul), Damascus, and other Middle Eastern cities.

  • Silk was an important commodity for the Chinese, who kept the process of its creation secret for centuries
  • East Asian traders brought spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to Europeans, who used them as flavourings, drugs, and perfumes
  • India traded pepper, pearls, sesame oil, textiles, coral, and ivory; Central Asian nations sent horses and jade back to China
  • Mediterranean merchants traded wools, gold, silver, gems, glassware, olive oil, and wine.

The Silk Road carried more than goods. Indian merchants brought Buddhism to China by the fifth century, Christianity took root in parts of western Asia, and Islam spread.

Smallpox, measles, and bubonic plague also hitched a ride, spreading along the pathways. The infamous Black Plague of the 1300s also moved by trade routes from China to Europe.

When East met West along Asia’s silk route, the collision of culture and tradition changed the course of world history. Winding tens of thousands of miles between China and Europe, the Silk Road enabled the exchange of goods and ideas between peoples that knew virtually nothing of each other.

An enormous range of spices, textiles, and silk had passed between Europe and China for more than a millennium when Swedish explorer Sven Hedin decided to run Marco Polo's famous route, mapping a quarter of the world's circumference along the way.

Marco Polo’s father was the first European to discover the Mongol Empire. The stories of colourful communities and cities that had sprung up in the desert enticed Marco to undertake his own travels. In 1271 he made his epic journey to Cathay, China and became the first famous explorer in the world after he chronicled his travels and findings.

Marco dictated his book to a friend from his cell, after having been jailed. There is serious doubt over whether Marco actually reached all the destinations he describes so vividly in his book, although historians are all agreed that he probably saw the mighty Yangtze River, the Mongol Emperor Khan’s Palace and the Taklamakan desert.

600 years later, Sven Hedin, a Swedish explorer with a thirst for adventure, rediscovered the cities of the old Silk Road, lost for over 1,000 years. He had a life-long obsession with Central Asia and considered the Silk Road the earth’s last unexplored frontier.


Region:             Region 0 (region-free)

Video format:     PAL

Sound:              Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo

Language:         English

Subtitles:          None

Screen size:      Full screen (4:3 aspect ratio)

Duration:           53 mins approx



This DVD is produced in PAL video format (UK/Europe/Australia/New Zealand/etc). Buyers in the USA, Canada, Japan and other NTSC regions should check compatibility with their equipment before purchasing this DVD. If in doubt, please contact us.

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