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prompt -analyze the changes and continuities in patterns of interactions along the Silk Road from 200 B.C.E to 1450 C.E.
Time has the ability to change many things, but many also stay the same. This holds true for the interactions along the Silk Road from 200 B.C.E to 1450 C.E. Although the similarities may outweigh the changes, the silk road diffused disease along with culture, adapted to overseas trade, helped to forge a connection between Asian and European markets and triggered periods of Enlightenment in Europe.
The Silk Road mainly started as a way for trade to flourish between Europe and Asia. Many Europeans were interested in luxury goods such as silk, jade, spices and porcelain. As a result, the Asians were able to prosper from the exporting of such goods. This would much later result in the Silver Trade imbalance issue between China and Britain sparking the Opium Wars. Europe also became influenced from the Silk Road because they viewed ones self worth on the number of exotic goods in your possession.
Goods were not the only interactions along the Silk Road. One of the major tragedies in the Eastern Hemisphere was the Bubonic Plague. The Plague originated from the Mongols and spread westward along the Silk Road. The Silk Road had many merchants from all over the Continent so the spread of the disease was inevitable. The luxury goods that came from Asia were often carried long distances either by animal or by boat, either way aiding the transfer of the Plague. What had once just been a trade route, now has become a major artery for the Eastern Hemisphere. Anything that reaches the Silk Road will be spread accross Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The major religion of Islam also became strengthened by interactions along the Silk Road. Islam was often spread not through missionaries but throguh merchants. Due to the large volume of trade along the Silk Road, merchants were very successful in diffusing Islamic beliefs to the rest of the World. Islamic nations along the Silk Road were also very advanced due to their contact and proximity to the Gupta Dynasty in India. As a result, Europeans gained this knowledge when they went on their Crusades against the Muslims. This caused a period known as the Enlightenment in Europe and the Silk Road was a very large contributing factor to this.
Overall, many things changed along the Silk Road from 200 B.C.E to 1450 C.E. Religions, diseases, and knowledge were transfered along the Silk Road. What once was just a simple trading system, has now evolved into a major highway for the spread of much, much more.