La frégate et la modernité

The voyage of the Russian writer, Ivan Gontcharov (1812-1891) on the frigate Pallada from 1852 to 1855 was a journey of symbolic importance. The author came from a wealthy background, working as a merchant in the family grain business; yet, disillusioned with this, he joined the Pallada and set off on a journey that took him to England, Africa, Japan, and then overland back to Russia.

Problématique de l’Epopée. Routes terrestres et maritimes

In spite of its difficulty, the study of orally transmitted traditions, such as sung epics, provides fascinating insight into a society’s culture. On the island of Palawan and among the Buryats living in the forests of Siberia, epics mostly dealt with the quest for marriage partners, acts of heroism and the overcoming of conflicts which led to social harmony and cohesion. In both these cultures, which were based on hunting and the exchange of goods, the epics were sung by shaman-bards.

Une monnaie en or du souverain indo-parthe Abdagases II

A gold coin discovered close to Gilgil in Pakistan, which bears the portrait of a king and a legend in Parthian (“Abdagases king of kings”), is attributed to the Indo-Parthian king Abdagases II who ruled during the last quarter of the 1st century AD. There are some similarities between this piece and the coinage of the famous Kushan king Vima Taktu (Sôter Megas), who reigned roughly at the same time.

Les routes orientales du papier

Paper first appeared in China in the 2nd century BC, and it was massively diffused from the 2nd century AD onwards. Paper making techniques evolved significantly during the first centuries of our era. The new material was used for various purposes, and it progressively replaced wood tablets, bamboo tablets, and eventually silk as a support for writing. Paper was exported to neighbouring countries, such as the kingdom of Silla on the Korean peninsula, Japan, Vietnam, and later Tibet and India. These regions soon started producing their own paper.

Découvertes récentes de trésors indo-grecs : Nouvelles données historiques

Owing to the conflicts, the number of clandestine excavations have increased in Afghanistan and Pakistan leading to major discoveries of treasures. One of the largest finds was a colossal amount of Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian and Kushan coins, including one find that, altogether, weighed three tonnes and included 450,000 gold and bronze pieces.

L’astronomie nautique le long de la route maritime de la soie

Persian and Arab sailors were the first to venture into the open sea outside the view of the coast. As a result, they had to elaborate universal systems of navigation based on the positions of the stars. According to literary sources, Chinese pilots had sailed into the open sea on their way to the Malay Peninsula by the 7th century. By the 15th century, they used similar navigation systems to their Persian and Arab predecessors.

Caravansérails seldjoukide en Anatole

It is well known that an evolved network of trade routes criss-crossed pre-Islamic Anatolia in the Seljuk era (11th -13th century AD), running from North to South, and from the Aegean towards the Far East. However, less is known about where travellers stayed and in what conditions. During the 12th century, leaders in the region invested in making the transport of merchandise and people as safe as possible and built approximately 30 caravanserais (also known as Khans or Ribats) in Anatolia before 1243.

Les pétroglyphes d’Asie centrale et la Route de la Soie

In certain areas of Central Asia, petroglyphs provide almost the only source of information on prehistoric routes of communication and the diffusion and migration of prehistoric populations. They have revealed that already in the 3rd millennium BC, there were contacts between Central Asia and the Himalayan region. The routes that were used by ancient populations are very similar to the ones that would later become the Silk Roads.

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