By Peter Frankopan
The halfway point between east and west… While such countries may seem wild to us, these are no backwaters, no obscure wastelands. In fact the bridge between east and west is the very crossroads of civilisation. Far from being on the fringe of global affairs, these countries lie at its very centre – as they have done since the beginning of history.
How is it that the places that in the earliest cartography were placed at the centre of the world are now almost impossible to locate on modern maps?
Peter Frankopan considers how as western readers of history, our understanding of the world is shaped by the narrow focus on western Europe and the United States and accounts of history that preferences ‘the winners of recent history.’
Thoroughly researched and gracefully written, The Silk Roads is an antidote to these Eurocentric accounts, examining several continents and centuries and the factors that influenced the flow of ideas and goods.
Frankopan is a multilingual Oxford Byzantist who with The Silk Roads epically adds to his crusades-heavy bibliography, writing a 650-page history of the world from the point of view of east-west interaction, the Middle East and Asia firmly at its centre.