How Did The Silk Road Affect Social Hierarchies

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The Silk Road was a complex network of trading routes that spanned from eastern Europe to China, that allowed many goods to travel from city to city. During the Silk Road’s main prominence from around 200 B.C.E. to 1450 C.E., many changes took place - including ones that have drastically altered societies with change in both social hierarchies and major religions. However, even with the plethora of cultural changes that took place, a few aspects of the societies of the time stayed consistent, most noticeably the desire for luxury goods by the upper class. The Silk Road resulted in many changes to the social hierarchies of the time, especially in the treatment of women and merchants. In the second-wave civilizations prior to the road’s prominence, women and merchant were viewed as much lower members of society. As a result of the Silk Road’s rise in importance, third- wave civilizations valued women and merchants more than their ancestors. This was because women were needed for the production of silk and other luxury…show more content…
to 1450 C.E also transformed the values primary religions like Buddhism and Christianity. For example, both Christianity and Buddhism became far more materialistic. Due to the trading and popularity of fine materials such as silk on the Silk Road, silk covers and wall hangings became commonplace in the previously more modest Christian faith. Also, due to the rapid spread of ideas via the Silk Road, Christians began to incorporate more Roman thought and Greek philosophy into their faith. Both of these changes have held true until current day. As a result of the Silk Road, Buddhism began to be more readily incorporated with other religions, and monasteries became more focused on wealth, leading to wealthier Buddhist leaders. This shift in priority resulted in the religions focusing on owning property and collecting fine goods (like art) because they came more readily available due to the silk
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