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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Title The Trade Routes and the Silk Trade along the Western Coast of the Caspian Sea from the 15th to the First Half of the 17th Century
Volume Vol. 3 No. 2
Pages pp. 23~48 (all 26 pages)
Publication Date December, 2018
Keyword Caspian Sea, Silk Road, Volga-Caspian route, Astrakhan, Shirvan, Derbent, Shamakhi, Gilan, silk trade
Abstract The Silk Road usually implies a network of trade and communications that stretched from east to west and connected China and the countries of the Far East via Central Asia and the Middle East to the eastern Mediterranean, or through the northern coast of the Caspian Sea and the Volga basin to the Black Sea coast. However, at certain historical stages, a network of maritime and overland routes stretching from north to south, commonly called the Volga-Caspian trade route, also played a significant role in international trade and cultural contacts. The geopolitical realities of the early Middle Ages relating to the relationship of Byzantium, the Sassanid Empire, and the West Turkic Khaganate, the advance of the Arab Caliphate to the north, the spread of Islam in the Volga region, the glories and fall of the Khazar State, and the Scandinavian campaigns in the Caucasus, closely intertwined with the history of transport and communications connecting the north and south through the Volga-Caspian route. In a later era, the interests of the Mongolian Uluses, and then the political and economic aspirations of the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid State, and Russia, collided or combined on these routes. The article discusses trade contacts existing between the north and the south in the 15th and first half of the 17th century along the routes on the western coast of the Caspian Sea.