The Silk Road

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Illustration

by Shizhao
published on 26 April 2012

This map indicates trading routes used around the 1st century CE centred on the Silk Road. The routes remain largely valid for the period 500 BCE to 500 CE.

Geographical labels for regions are adapted from the Geography of Ptolemy (c. 150 CE), some trading centre names date from later (c. 400 CE). Relying on Ptolemy's names is wrong but neutral.

The following contemporary trading centres (or possible trading centres) are not marked:

Red Sea - Myos Hormos, Berenica, Ptolemais Theron, Adulis, Muza, Ocalis, Aualites, Malao.

Arabia - [South] Saue, Sana, Saphar, Eudaemon Arabia, Cane, Mosyllon, Moscha

Persian Gulf - Asabon, Charax, Gerra, Ommana, Apologos

Persia - Persepolis, Alexandria Areion, Kandahar

Africa - [East Africa/Kush/Axum] Coloe, Axum, Akhmim, Panopolis, Aromaton Emporion, Opone, Sarapion, Dongola. [Mediterranean] Cyrene, Leptis Magna, Carthage, Caesarea, [Beyond map] [East Africa] Juba, Maji, Sennar, [Trans-Saharan] Sijilmassa, Tamanrasset, Murzuk, Tingis.

Europe - Gades (Cadiz), Augusta Treverorum (Trier), Aquileia, Ostia, Athens

India - [Arabian Sea] Horaia, Barbaricum, Barake, Astakapra, Suppara, Kalliena, Semylla, Mandagora, Palaepatmae, Melizeigara, Erannoboas, Byzantion, Naura, Tymdis, [Central] Paethana, Tagara, [South] Muziris, Nelcynda, Bacare, Balita, Colchi, Palaesimundu, [East] Argaru, Poduca, Sopatma.

Silk Road - Ecbatana, Yarkand, Jiaohei, Kitai, Kaifeng. (Note - both summer and winter routes around the Takla Makan are shown)

China - Chengdu, Kunming, Cattgara

South East Asia - Trang, Thaton

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