Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

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Idkah Mosque Xinjiang's most important Islamic building is the largest mosque in China, located in Kashgar, the heart of Uygur Islam in China. Built in 1442, the mosque reflects elements of Uighur architectural style, and can accommodate thousands of worshippers.

Ili Lying at the north foot of the Tianshan Mountain, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture is in the west of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, bounded on the northeast by Russia and Mongolia, on the west by Kazakhstan. Ili is located in the heart of Central Asia. The Tianshan Mountains, the Altai Mountains, the Poluokenu Mountains, the Junggar Basin and the Monglkvre-Tekes Basin make up the main landforms of Ili, along with the Ili River, the Erqis River and their valleys.

Ili River is a river in northwestern China ( Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) and southeastern Kazakhstan (the Almaty Province). The area has special importance in the history of the birth of the Silk Road. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD 220), Emperor Wudi is credited with opening up the Silk Road by sending General Zhang Qian to form an alliance with the Yuezhi people who had been defeated by their enemies the Xiongnu and driven to the Ili valley (the western fringes of the Taklamakan Desert). Wudi's desire for making peace with the Western regions, and the two missions of General Qian (between 138-125 BCE and 119-115 BCE) are known to have led to the establishment of not only diplomatic contacts and economic relations, but also to cultural exchanges between East and West.  More

Incense Route Important trade routes, known collectively as the "Incense Route" were mostly controlled by the Arabs, who brought frankincense and myrrh by camel caravan from South Arabia. The network of routes served as a channel for trading of Indian, Arabian and East Asian goods. The incense trade flourished from South Arabia to the Mediterranean between roughly the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. This trade was crucial to the economy of Yemen. Frankincense and myrrh trees were seen as a source of wealth by its rulers. More...

Indian Ocean was a major communications route used by empires and traders, among others, by Marco Polo to deliver a princess to the Ilqanate. Long range ocean travel became increasingly important after Kublai Khan conquered the Chinese Southern Song and acquired its maritime and natural resources. Because much of Central Asia was hostile to Mongol China, sea routes were vital for communications, especially with Mongol Iran.

Indies ("The Indies") A term that has been used to describe the lands of south and southeast Asia. The Indies refers to a loosely defined region in southeast Asia often comprising the areas India, Indochina, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. The islands of the East Indies extend for about 2800 mi (4500 km) from western Sumatra to New Guinea.

Indochina (or the Indochinese peninsula) is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly east of India, south of China. The name was adopted when French colonial powers in Vietnam began expanding their territory to bordering countries.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
was a French 19th century Neoclassical painter whose famous works La Grande Odalisque (1814), The Turkish Bath (1862), and Odalisque with a Slave (1842) contributed to the lasting association in the Western mind of submissive and lazy Eastern harem women and concubines. Ingres never travelled to the Middle East, Africa, or the Orient to see such subjects, and therefore is a good example of Orientalist fantasies of Western conception.

Inner Mongolia is a Mongol autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the country of Mongolia (alternatively known as Outer Mongolia) and the Russian Federation. Its capital is Hohhot and the largest city is Baotou. More...

Intan Shipwreck c. 1000 CE, consists of a shipwreck of unknown sailors and merchants. The ship sank in the Java Sea with goods from various origins, some as far away as the Middle East. The ship's most striking feature was that its builders used no iron.

Inventions (China) China has been the source of many significant inventions, including the Four Great Inventions of ancient China: papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing. The Chinese invented technologies involving mechanics, hydraulics, and mathematics applied to horology, metallurgy, astronomy, agriculture, engineering, music theory, craftsmanship, nautics, and warfare. More...

Inventions (Islam) The Islamic Golden Age is traditionally dated from the mid-8th to the mid-13th century A.D. During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world contributed to navigation, sciences, agriculture, philosophy, the arts, economics, industry, law, literature, sociology, and technology, by adding inventions and innovations and by preserving earlier traditions. As with Chinese inventors and innovations, the leaders of this period directly and indirectly influenced civilizations and societies on every continent." More...

Inventions (Western world) For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. Yet many inventions and ideas from the Western world traveled East, along with the people and goods that crossed the series of Eurasian caravan routes. The cultural exchange on the ancient Silk Road encouraged the West to discover the rich history and heritage of the East. As a result, famous navigators and explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, undertook voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, leading to general European awareness of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. The Silk Routes thus helped to inspire Columbus to land in the "New World," contributing to the further development of innovations and East-West exchanges. More...

İpek Yolu Trke aıklama | İngilizce aıklama

Iron Gate Pass (Tiemen) is one of the strategic passes on the ancient Silk Road. Tiemen Pass is located 8 km from Korla City. It is one of the 26 famous passes in China. The pass is part of an arduous section of the Silk Road which one needed to travel to reach the Tarim Basin (located in Xinjiang, the largest interior basin in China). The pass lies in Tieguan Gorge which has been a strategic location since ancient times.

Islam  Like other great religions, Islam thrived and was spread for hundreds of centuries along the Silk Road. Islam is a monotheistic religion based on the Quran which Muslims believe is the word of God. Adherents of Islam are called Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad (born in Mecca c. 570 / 571, died 632) is regarded by Muslims as a messenger and last prophet of God  (a.k.a. the founder of the religion of Islam), and the greatest law-bearer in a series of prophets. Muslims consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (Islām) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets. He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action. The revelations which Muhammad reported receiving until his death form the verses of the Holy Qur'an, and are regarded by Muslims as the Word of God. Prophet Muhammads teachings and example in life (what he said, and his deeds), were recorded (in the form of  hadith) and the Prophet's traditions (sunnah) are also upheld in the lives of Muslims. The holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the Prophet, is considered the center of the Islamic world. Each day, millions of Muslims from all over the world face Mecca to pray. More...

Islam (in China) The History of Islam in China goes back to the earliest years of Islam. One of the earliest mosques in China,  The Great Mosque in Xian, was built in 742. More...

Islamic Golden Age is traditionally dated from the mid-8th to the mid-13th century A.D.  During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world contributed to agriculture, the arts, economics, industry, law, literature, navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding inventions and innovations of their own. The Islamic Empire significantly contributed to globalization during the Islamic Golden Age, when the knowledge, trade and economies from many previously isolated regions and civilizations began integrating through contacts with Muslim explorers and traders. Their trade networks extended from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Indian Ocean and China Sea in the east. These trade networks helped establish the Islamic Empire (including the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates) as the world's leading extensive economic power throughout the 7th13th centuries. The transmission of knowledge from the medieval Islamic world to the West is well documented. Unfortunately, modern Islamic libraries for the most part do not contain ancient books, documents, and maps, since many were lost, destroyed, or removed to European libraries and museums during the colonial period.

Islamic King Tombs located 2 km south of Hami in Xinjiang, China, is the burial area of what is known in China as the "Islamic kings" of Hami. Since the title of Islamic king was first granted by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty in 1697, 233 years passed until 1930 when the title of Islamic King was granted to the last king by the government of the People's Republic of China. During this period, nine kings were granted the title of Islamic King. The site is divided into three parts: Islamic Kings Tombs, The Small Arch, and large mosque. Some of the buildings are elaborately decorated with Islamic art. The most outstanding one of the tombs is the tomb of Boxier, the seventh Islamic king. West of the gate of the tomb is a rectangle structure, 14 meters high, 15 meters wide and 79 meters deep. The surface of the structure is decorated with ceramic tiles on which blue flowers and clouds were painted. The dome is covered with green colored glaze (the former spire no longer exists). The inner wall of the dome-shaped tomb is adorned with a flower pattern. The princes and son of Boxir were also buried here, along with the eighth Islamic king, Mahomet, and his princess. Only a portion of the southern tomb, with five dome-shaped tombs arranging from east to west, remains today. To the east is another tombs honoring the last Islamic king Samhusot and his wife. Other tombs were built for the Islamic kings and their descants through the ages. To the west there is a grand mosque (built in the time of the fourth Islamic king who ruled c. 1740-1766) which can provide prayer facilities for over 3000 persons. This magnificent and solemn architecture is the largest mosque in the Hami area.

Isfahan (Persian: اصفهان Esfahān) is located on the main north-south and east-west routes crossing Iran. Isfahan is located mid-way along the Silk Road between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The city flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. The city is famous for its Islamic architecture, palaces, mosques, and bridges. As a result of its geographic location, many of the caravan merchants passed through the region. Esfahan's wealth originated due to its role as a chief stopover along the trans-Asia trade route. These land routes declined in importance as competition from maritime commerce increased with cheaper sea routes used for transporting commodities between Asia and Europe. More...

The Khaju Bridge (Pol-e Khaju) is one of the most famous bridges in Isfahan

Istanbul (Turkey) The city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), was not only a major point of trade for the network of overland and maritime Silk Routes, it was also a location where major civilizations of the world overlapped and intermingled for 8,500 years. As a bridge of two continents, it has served as a melting pot of cultures and religions from the east, west, north and south. This is the reason why Istanbul is often referred to as "the crossroad of civilizations."

The city of Istanbul is located on the strategic Bosphorus Strait. The Strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara (and Aegean which flows into the Mediterranean). The Strait also separates Asian Turkey (historically known as Asia Minor) from European Turkey (or Thrace, Trakya) -- thus separating the two continents of Asia and Europe. Crossed by two large suspension bridges, the city also plays a unique international role since it connects the two continents by road. (See Turkey)  More...

Many historic areas of Istanbul have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Istanbul was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010.

Iznik is a city in the Province of Bursa, Turkey, that is famous for its tiles and Silk Routes connections. The town became a major center of the Ottoman tile industry in the 16th century. "Chini" was the name given to a special quality of ceramic tiles and pottery produced  in Iznik at the end of the 15th century. The use of "chini" tiles in architecture, or as decorative elements in buildings, can be traced back to the Selcuk era. Iznik tiles were used to decorate palaces, various edifices, and mosques in Istanbul designed by Mimar Sinan, as well as in Edirne.  Iznik pottery was often the official gift of the Ottoman Palace to foreign nations. The designs were created in the "nakkash hane" ( Ottoman court ateliers) and were used on other forms of Ottoman art. Many Iznik ceramics and tiles can be found in museums around the world.

The Ottoman ceramic tradition also drew inspiration from luxury goods acquired through trade along the Silk Road, in particular from Chinese export porcelain. Chinese and Far Eastern porcelain was highly valued in Europe and was transported by caravans over the Silk Road or by sea routes. As various wares were traded across continents, the artistic influences of cultural exchange became evident in the items produced over the centuries. The ceramic collection of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul includes over ten thousand pieces of Chinese porcelain. More...

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