Visual Timeline: Silk Road

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


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