Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

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3 - QUESTION:  In what century was the name the "Silk Road" coined? 

Answer: 19th century.

In 1877 the term "Seidenstraße" (literally "Silk Road") was coined by the German geographer, cartographer and explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen. It was 20 centuries after the first Chinese missions to the West, that the term "Silk Road" began to be used. The term now refers to the centuries-old trade network that has linked the Asian and Mediterranean worlds since antiquity (and often includes not only overland, but also maritime routes). Thus, the term "Silk Road" was coined in the West after the lucrative Chinese silk trade which was one of the valued products that gave rise to the connection of trade routes that grew into an extensive Eurasian trans-continental network.

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