GOLDEN PEACHES OF SAMARKAND PDF

Along with Bukhara , [7] Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia , prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean Silk Road. There is no direct evidence when Samarkand was founded. Researchers of the Institute of Archeology of Samarkand argue for the existence of the city between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Sogdian civilization from its early days. By the time of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia it had become the capital of the Sogdian satrapy.

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Opens with a discussion about foreign relations -- normally they had their own sectors in cities, and could not live intermingled with native Chinese -- and various laws about the tribute and the trade. Emperors who wanted to appear virtuous or warlike might reject things as frivolous. Or slaves might be returned home on the grounds that such a breaking of family ties was unfitting. Also a discussion of how the other lands were divided up -- as far as Rome. The Greek legend of the war between the pygmies and the cranes certainly made it to China in this time.

Then follows a catalog of the exotics, by subject. Though in discussion of food stuffs, medicines, and aromatics in particular, he talks of how arbitrary the divisions are. Some entries are brief. One creature could have been a weasel or a ferret from the description, and we know nothing more.

Others can be expanded on, such as the lion, and the tales of how one had frightened a dragon from a well, and other appearances in poetry. How perfume was compounded, and the various places it came from, and the heavy use of it -- Taoist legend in particular, but also Buddhist ones, were filled with perfume.

And many more things. This is a book that, well, describes stuff Jul 28, Jean rated it it was amazing "The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object which we do not suspect. The exotics imported into China during this time were plentiful and noted by Tang writers. Jan 13, Michael Shea rated it liked it This book took me several years to read.

I have to admit, this is a very niche topic. Over the years I have looked for books that cover East-West communication over the Eurasian landmass. I am fascinated that the Roman and Chinese empires knew of each other, but never had direct contact. This book fits in that genre. It lists the different types of items presented to the emperors of Tang China as tribute gifts.

It then proceeds to talk about where these items came from, who presented them, what This book took me several years to read. It then proceeds to talk about where these items came from, who presented them, what they were used for in China and what they were used for elsewhere in the world.

The items range from the exotic to the mundane. For example, one of the items was narcissus plants. The book talks about where they originated from and who used them for what. The book took me so long to read, because the writing is academic and there is no story to follow per se. So I had to struggle to read this book.

It was easier to consume in small doses.

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The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T'ang Exotics

Opens with a discussion about foreign relations -- normally they had their own sectors in cities, and could not live intermingled with native Chinese -- and various laws about the tribute and the trade. Emperors who wanted to appear virtuous or warlike might reject things as frivolous. Or slaves might be returned home on the grounds that such a breaking of family ties was unfitting. Also a discussion of how the other lands were divided up -- as far as Rome.

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