During the period between 200 BC and 1450 CE the Silk Road underwent many changes and continuities. First established as a trade route from Asia to Europe by the Han Dynasty, it was initially developed as a way for trade to flourish. Despite its changes in connections with different civilizations, trading terms, and the spread of different diseases and religions, its sole purpose of trading goods and ideas remained the same. The ride and fall of dynasties, such as Rome, changed which societies used the Silk Road and which did not, affecting the efficiency of goods and trade. With the fall of the Roman and Han Dynasties, this caused the end of this eras Silk Road usage until the Mongols came and reopened it, also making it safer. Also another change is terms of trade, what was traded and what was not. Romans traded gold and silver for silk, giving the Silk Road its name. Throughout the usage of the Silk Road more things were traded like spices, slaves, and porcelain. Diseases were spread on the Silk Road as well and usage of over sea travel and animal overland travel just helped spread of bubonic plague, which originated from the Mongols. The bubonic plague spread on the Silk Road to Europe, wiping out one third of Europe’s population. Different religions also were spread throughout the Silk Road. Buddhism was highly influential for the Chinese because it appealed mostly to the lower rank because it rejected social hierarchies. Islam was spread on the Silk Road as well; however it was not spread through missionaries, but by Islamic merchants. Christianity from Europe was also spread on the Silk Road as well.
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