Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Farmer, J Michael
Discipline and Number
HIST 4358 Section 501
T Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
The Silk Roads

Description of Course:

The network of overland exchange routes that linked the whole of the known world (i.e., the Mediterranean, India, China) is generally known by the 19th century appellative "the Silk Roads." They were the media through which the great civilizations of the West (Rome, Persia, Byzantium) connected with the great civilizations of the East (India, China). As such, an understanding of the history and function of the Silk Roads is essential. This course will examine the history and material culture of the Silk Roads, with particular emphasis to the China side of the exchange system.

Required Texts:

Liu Xinru. The Silk Roads: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Bedford St Martins, 2012. ISBN: 0312475519

Keown, Damien. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN: 0199663831

Foltz, Richard. Religions of the Silk Road. New York: Palgrave, 2000. ISBN: 0312233388

Wriggins, Sally Hovey. The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang. Boulder: Westview, 2004. ISBN: 0813365996

Schafer, Edward. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963. ISBN: 0520054628.

Whitfield, Roderick, Susan Whitfield, and Neville Agnew. Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and History on the Silk Road. Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2001. ISBN: 0892365854

Dawson, Christopher, ed. Mission to Asia. Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980. ISBN: 0802064361

Marco Polo, Ronald Latham, trans. The Travels. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1958. ISBN: 0140440577

Hopkirk, Peter. Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia. University of Massachusetts Press, 1984. ISBN: 0870234358

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Weekly reading (textbook, monographs, and primary sources).
Active participation in discussion.
Book Captures.
Primary source analysis essays.
Final paper/project.

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