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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Title The Original Concept of the Silk Road and Richthofen’s Humanistic Ideas
Volume Vol. 3 No. 2
Pages pp. 1~21 (all 21 pages)
Publication Date December, 2018
Keyword Seidenstrassen, Richthofen’s Sea Route, Ptolemy, A. Herrmann, English term Silk Road
Abstract The concept of the “Seidenstrassen” (Silk Road) was created by the German geographer F. von Richthofen (1833-1905) in 1877. The “Seidenstrassen” means communication between China and the Roman cultural area. To prove the route of dissemination of silk, Richthofen not only focused on geographical substantiality, based on the routes of the Chinese Zhang Qian and the Roman Ptolemy, but also on etymological, historical, and religious sources. In fact, his Silk Road concept has the trade of silk as well as the humanistic ideas of cultural exchange. It is worth noting that in his book China, Richthofen presented the Silk Road as a space-time concept that considers the length of space as well as the length of time by highlighting humanistic examples that came into modern times through the Sea Route. Later, the English term “Silk Road” appeared in 1938, the Japanese term “シルクロード” (sirukurodo) in 1939, and the Korean term “실크로드” (silkrodeu) in 1952.