Talk:Silk Road

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Early discussion[edit]

This is copied from We need to have the author state that it is there work and that they are releasing it under Project:Copyleft. I'm going to move the info here until this happens. Thanks (WT-en) Majnoona 10:50, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Also at, which claims copyright. Stuff like this on the web, who knows where it's originally from -- everybody copies it and stamps a copyright on it. Trash it and forget about it, I say. -- (WT-en) Paul Richter 11:02, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)

For data mining[edit]

removed from article due to copyright issue

I removed the content from here, too. If it's not copyright-clean for the main namespace, it doesn't belong in the Talk: namespace, either. We've got links above, which can be used for reference and data-mining. --(WT-en) Evan 13:00, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)
OK, I was holding out a tiny hope that it was posted by the author... (WT-en) Majnoona 13:19, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Just to close off that issue, nearly all the current text was added by me and is original. There is no longer any copyright problem. Someone might still mine either links above or those I added in the article and improve the text, though. (WT-en) Pashley 05:11, 13 August 2006 (EDT)

Merge tag[edit]

I disagree with the addition of the merge tag. The itinerary is at usable status, and it's one of the best known routes in human history! --Peter Talk 15:15, 19 September 2012 (CEST)

I disagree too, but following the changed itineraries policy, I had to tag it for being merged and redirected. Unlike something like Route 66 or Appalachian Trail, there is not one "Silk Road", it's more of a concept with many ways to traverse it. --Globe-trotter (talk) 15:21, 19 September 2012 (CEST)
Well, to be sure, but there's nothing in the policy against having multiple routes? I suppose it could be re-branded as a travel topic, but still think it works better as an itinerary. --Peter Talk 01:16, 20 September 2012 (CEST)
I see the tag is gone, Good! Had I noticed it earlier, I'd have disagreed as well. Pashley (talk) 17:20, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


We list branches off the route at Silk_Road#Other_routes. Should a branch to Russia and/or the Caucasus states be added? I know Russian influence was extremely important in this area in the 19th & 20th centuries. I do not know if there was significant trade earlier. Pashley (talk) 17:20, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, first of all I must say that I do not understand the point of this itinerary. It looks like a historical background, not like a useful travel guide (I am not saying that the article is useless, I just don't see it is a travel guide). But if you want some idea on the branch that ran around the Caspian sea, here my thoughts are:
  • The Russian city of Astrakhan, which is known since 14th century, was preceded by Atil. Both cities were of major importance in the trade between Russia and Asian countries. Caravans along the Silk road passed through these cities as well.
  • Derbent is the oldest city of Russia. It is known since 5th century BC. Of course, it has been Persian, not Russian, but now it is part of Russia. The region, which is presently known as Dagestan, had more ancient cities, but their locations are vague and there is absolutely nothing to see.
  • Taman, a small village on the Taman peninsula (between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov), is a location of the ancient city of Tmutarakan. I am not sure whether it belonged to the Silk road (the caravans likely moved south along the Caspian Sea, not west to the Black Sea), but it is the only settlement with ancient Russian origin in this region. It was Russian (I mean, it had some Slavic folks) as early as 10th century.
  • Baku, Tbilisi and many other Trans-Caucasian cities were of major importance for the trade along the Silk road, but they are a different story that is vaguely related to Russia.
--Alexander (talk) 19:10, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
The historical Silk Road is something that captures the imagination of many travelers, as evidenced by all the ultra-expensive tour packages! I know a bit about the Transcaucasian sites, only a couple of which were actually on a route to Europe, through (if I'm not mistaken) Baku, Barda, and sites in Southern Armenia that I'm really not familiar with. Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Yerevan were certainly all routinely visited by the caravans (Yerevan probably was on a main route), but I don't think any of them have Silk Road-related attractions. Places I know that do have such attractions:
  • Baku's old walled city has to be one of the cooler places for a Silk Road tourist to visit.
  • Barda — OK, I don't really know if there's anything to see here, and it's near a borderline war zone, but it was the capital of Caucasian Albania, and a major stop on the route.
  • Sheki — in between Baku and Derbent, with a pretty magnificent Caravansaray that is now a hotel and (good) restaurant
  • Yeghegnadzor — Selim Caravansaray
  • Uplistsikhe — another really cool site, a cave city that existed until the Silk Road traffic died down
  • Sukhumi is by ruins of the Kelasuri Wall, supposedly built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian between Sukhumi and Poti to protect trade routes north of the Caucasus mountain passes from the Persians, and would have been second in length only to the Great Wall of China in that era.
That's all I know! --Peter Talk 23:00, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

I have added a one-line summary under "branches off the road":

If someone who knows more can improve or expand that, please plunge forward. Pashley (talk) 11:52, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Mongol Empire[edit]

Not to nitpick over the history section, but an article about the Silk Road would be missing a very large part of it's history section without mentioning Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire's 200 year control of the entire length of the silk road. Not to mention successor states like the Chagatai Khanate, Moghulistan, and the Il Khan that were all controlled by descendents of Genghis Khan. The later collapse of which pushed trade to the sea route.Altaihunters (talk) 01:59, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

That isn't nitpicking. Please add the info about Genghis Khan. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:34, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
We now have a Mongol Empire article. Pashley (talk) 09:52, 21 July 2021 (UTC)


I found this map quite better than current one under section "Maritime Silk Road". --Saqib (talk) 19:24, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Nice, thanks. I have added it. Pashley (talk) 19:55, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

How far back does trade go?[edit]

I am reading a book on Ancient Britain which says a w:Cro-Magnon site in France had shell from the Indian Ocean. It does not give an exact date, but the Cro-Magnons were 15,000 BCE and earlier so that is evidence of trade or migration over part of the Silk Road a very long time back.

The article currently mentions nothing earlier than 2500 BCE or so. Should it? Is there other evidence of ancient trade? Did known migrations of ancient man use what were later Silk Road routes? Pashley (talk) 16:27, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Expanding routes[edit]

Hi Everyone, I was one of the guys that wrote the routes section in the wikitravel version of this article. I noticed a lot of that information didn't make it over. So I will gradually expand on this section. One thing I noticed is the Beyond Kashgar part is very lacking in detail. And the Baghdad to Damascus section is just not useful for any traveler. So I will write that as historical and fix it up to use Anatolia. If anybody has any issues or objections, please let me know. Tigerleapgorge (talk) 17:39, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Historical for the time being, but things change, and some fine day, the Baghdad to Damascus route will be safe again. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:52, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Chinese president in Pakistan today launched a massive infrastructure investment deal which will hopefully revamp the Pak-China route. Although it will take some years to have proposed expressway and railway link but thought of sharing here that 21st century Silk Rd is coming. --Saqib (talk) 20:33, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
New Silk Road – first container train from China arrives in Kaluga, Russia Pashley (talk) 23:31, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

BBC on "new silk road"[edit]

Good article, though I'd say the beeb is drinking Chinese gov't koolaid when it comes to choice of route. Pashley (talk) 16:40, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Interesting map[edit]

An Incredibly Detailed Map Of Medieval Trade Routes Pashley (talk) 02:25, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Clippers in the Suez Canal?[edit]

The article claims:

Still later the Suez and Panama canals opened up new routes; in particular the great sailing tea clippers ran from China to Europe via Suez from its opening in 1869 until the early 20th century

I have always heard that the Suez Canal was what killed the Far East trade for the clippers: The steamships would take the shortcut, while the sailing ships would continue to go via Good Hope. There is a famous story about a steamship on the Indian Ocean offering to take mail home to England from a clipper, the sailing ship captain proposing to do the reverse and after furious sailing around Africa reaching England first. The shipowner is first angry about breakage caused by not reducing sails, but thanks the skipper after having read the news coverage.

--LPfi (talk) 12:32, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

At last I rewrote the passage, hopefully in decent prose. I though I had made the correction long ago, but it seems I never clicked the save button. --LPfi (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Dating the road[edit]

Current text has "Chinese silk was reaching Rome before the end of the Roman Republic." I originally wrote that as "... before the time of Christ" and think it should be changed back. It seems to me much clearer; not all readers will know enough European history to understand the current version but most will understand mine.

Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 02:18, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Maybe the current phrasing will stimulate them to learn. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:26, 24 March 2020 (UTC)