January 6, 2015

The Silk Road in Late Antiquity by Peter Brown

Peter Robert Lamont Brown (born 26 July 1935) is Rollins Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. His principal contributions to the discipline have been in the field of Late Antiquity. His work has concerned, in particular, the religious culture of the later Roman Empire and early medieval Europe, and the relation between religion and society.
Title: The Silk Road in Late Antiquity by Peter Brown. Source: Penn Museum. Date Published: May 26, 2011. Description: 
Peter Brown spoke on the Silk Road in Late Antiquity:: Politics, Trade, and Culture Contact between Rome and China, 300-700 CE at the Silk Road Symposium held at the Penn Museum in March 2011. 
This is a study of the modes of political and cultural communication which led to a rare level of "intervisibility" between the various societies and states along the Silk Road in the Late Antique period (roughly 300-700 CE). It will examine the cultural meanings of the objects which passed along the Silk Road as examples of a form of "archaic globalization". It ends by examining the meaning to contemporaries of the deliberate hybridization of objects taken from distant lands that were put on display in their respective societies. It is this bricolage of objects, to create spaces that were perceived both as local and non-local, which accounts for the passing of cultural and artistic influences along the kingdoms of the Silk Road from Byzantium to China in the Late Antique period. 
Peter Brown is the Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History and Director, Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.
An excerpt from, "China planning Silk Road 2.0 through the Middle East" by Ragheed al Solh, Al-Monitor, January 5, 2015:
Those concerned with current East-West relations often use the term "Silk Road." Referring to this term, in writing and literature, is more like retrieving old photographs from a bygone ancient era rather than having an outlook onto the future. This road, which spread economic prosperity, cultural diversity and interaction across Asia, Africa and Europe, is not a component of modern geography but of ancient history.

China and the Arab countries have a different perspective on the Silk Road. The Chinese leadership sees a future project and practical steps to be implemented with the usual Chinese diligence. This was confirmed by China’s president, Xi Jinping, when he received Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi two weeks ago.