There are many driving forces that have been constantly steering the course of history, ever since human formed the first primitive society; undeniably, one of the most important factors that played such vital role is trading networks that spanned across Eurasia. Even though there are many various trade routes that took form during our latest 2000 years history; however, the two most important would be the Silk Road, which connected Rome to the far east (China and Japan,) and the Indian Ocean Trading Networks, which was the primary mean of trade for many states located near the Indian Ocean. Both the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade route have actively altered the social and political landscape across Eurasia by serving as a bridge to spread new ideas, technologies, and also changing the dynamics not only between classes within one state, but also between different states across Eurasia.
In his article, Christian offered a new possibility in explaining the origin of the Silk Road:
The Inner Eurasian steppelands were occupied, probably since the fourth millennium B.C.E, and certainly by 3000 B.C.E, by communities practicing extensive and mobile forms of horse pastoralism, which ensured that their contacts and influence would extend over large areas. Indeed, the emergence of mobile pastoralist life ways should probably be regarded as the real explanation for the origin of the trans-Eurasian network of exchanges that the Silk Roads came to symbolize.
However, knowing this, one may question how can such a trivial connections between small pastoralism and nomadic societies created one of the most important trade network ever existed? The key to this success was partially because of the important their geographical advantage (central Asia, being the link between two great civilization: China, those of Indus River, and later Rome) and the fact that those societies themselves were nomadic in nature. As they moved across Central Asia, they carried goods between regions to trade, thus at first loosely connected the entire Eurasia continent as a whole. Much later, as the Han expanded, the trade activities through these preexisting networks expanded. With Western civilization’s great demand for silks and other goods from China and China’s demand of ivory, olive, and other exotic goods, the Silk Road flourished. It is critical to note that the growth of the Silk Road drastically altered the lives of the people and societies in Central Asia as their importance rose. The nomadic tribes now began to create many settlements along the Silk Road, many of which served as important trading cities. The Silk Road also elevated the status of merchants as they gained influence over states across Central Asia. During the Mongol expansion in the 13th century, the Silk Road became the main trading route for Eurasia exchanges (temporarily eclipsed the Indian Ocean trading route) as the Mongol guaranteed merchants their safety. The Silk Road also helped to bring...