Visual Timeline: Silk Road

To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.

Legend:

500 BCE 400 BCE 300 BCE 200 BCE 100 BCE 0 CE 100 CE 200 CE 300 CE 400 CE 500 CE  
 
 
500 BCE - 330 BCE: The Achaemenid Empire rules in Mesopotamia, Persian Royal Road in use.
 
 
334 BCE - 323 BCE: Period of the conquests of Alexander the Great.
 
 
329 BCE: Alexander the Great founds the city of Alexandria Escate in Neb (Tajikstan).
 
 
260 BCE - 195 BCE: King Euthydemus I of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom rules in Central Asia.
 
 
202 BCE - 220 CE: The Han Dynasty rules in China.
 
 
200 BCE: First contact between China and the Greco-Bactrian descendents of Alexander the Great's army.
 
 
171 BCE - 138 BCE: Reign of Mithridates I of Parthia.
 
 
138 BCE: Han Emperor Wu the Great sends his emissary Zhang Qian to the west, initiating commerce.
 
 
130 BCE: The Silk Road is officially opened.
 
 
129 BCE: Parthians conquer Mesopotamia. The Silk Road to China is now controlled by the Parthians.
 
 
27 BCE - 14 CE: Reign of Augustus Caesar in Rome, Chinese silk is very popular.
 
 
161 CE - 180 CE: Reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Chinese silk popularity endures.
 
 
476 CE: The fall of the western Roman Empire.
 
 
527 CE - 565 CE: Reign of Emperor Julian of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Beginning of Byzantine silk industry.
 
 
542 CE: The bubonic plague, thought to have been brought through the Silk Road, decimates Constantinople.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
500 BCE 300 BCE 100 BCE 100 CE 300 CE 500 CE