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Impact of the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean Trade on the Post-Classical Era – Free Essay Example

When early people started agriculture after previously being hunter gatherers, civilizations were created. This created complex societies and specialized workers since not everyone had to hunt and farm. With the advancements of complex societies, the first forms of trade were created. People would barter with other people in their society for goods they don’t possess and soon that evolved into trading with other civilizations. Trade kept evolving and becoming bigger throughout the classical era and the post classical era. During the post classical era many trade routes evolved and prospered. The Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade had a huge impact on the post classical era and allowed the post classical era to prosper. The Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade were similar because they both spread religion but they were also different because the Silk road was overland trade whereas the Indian Ocean trade was over sea and the Silk Road focused more on luxury goods.

Both the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade diffused religion. Trade routes such as the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade linked societies together which caused a widespread of religion. The Silk Road spread Buddhism, which was created in India, to China. Its presence became evident during the Han and Sui dynasties and its popularity was widespread during the Tang dynasty as a result of Buddhist monk Xuanzang. As a result, temples or shrines were created as devotion to Buddhism. Mahayana, Theravada, and Tibetan buddhism were created as people began to have differing opinions of how to devote to Buddha. This was all possible because of the religious diffusion from India that came from the Silk Road. Indian Ocean trade spread Islam from its birthplace in the middle east to West africa and south africa. Once trade started with the Islamic people and the Africans, Islam was appealing to many africans and they chose to convert to Islam. This was evident in the Swahili Coast where many who took up Islam built shrines and even created a language that mixed Bantu and Arabic to create Swahili which many africans still speak today. People in Africa took up Islam and changed their language as a result of the cultural diffusion from India.

The Silk Road was overland whereas the Indian Ocean trade happened overseas. The Silk Road trade was made possible by caravans and other innovations to trade overland whereas the Indian trade was made possible by boats and maritime navigation. The Silk Road took place throughout China, India and the Middle east which was evident by the products and inventions that were spread upon it. Also at the time of the creation of the Silk Road, maritime trade was very little and not reliable. The Indian Ocean trade happened over sea as evident by the gold trade between the Coastal african cities and India. It is also evident by the cultural diffusion of Islam to Zimbabwe, Mogadishu and the other coastal africa cities.

The Silk Road traded more expensive and luxury goods in comparison to the Indian Ocean trade. The Silk Road took place overland which made trading heavier and a bulk of goods harder. This resulted in the main trades of the Silk Road being good such as silk or porcelain because other goods were too heavy or didn’t make enough money to suffice the trading trip. Silk was a very high end and luxury item that not many lower class people possessed or could afford. The possession of silk showed high status for people in the middle east or Europe as it was a costly item and was from far lands. Porcelain was another item that was very expensive to created and purchase. It was also often traded in the Silk Road. In comparison the Indian Ocean trade traded goods that only had good worth in bulk like cotton since it was easier to ship on a boat and lots of it could be transported. Goods like cotton were cheap and affordable by all and the opposite of a luxurious item. The Silk Road traded items such as porcelain and silk which were very costly and luxurious whereas the Indian Ocean trade traded items such as cotton which were affordable by all.

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