A Study on the Proposal and Expansion of the Term “Silk Road” “丝绸之路”概念的提出与拓展
Some ancient Roman authors recorded that Macedonian merchants travelled to China during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Based on these references, German geographer Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen has not only recovered the ancient route, but also named it ” Silk Road,” which referred to a Eurasian transcontinental land route connecting the eastern Mediterranean and the Yellow River basin. This term “Silk Road” clearly reveals the important role that silk played in the ancient trade between east and west. Richthofen is indeed the first one who used the term ” Silk Road” but he thought the term ” Silk Road” was obvious limited within certain years and seemed not to focus on this term in his research. It was the scholars after him, for example Albert Herrmann and Sven Hedin, who inherited this term directly in their writings with enriched and extended contexts. Nowadays, the term “Silk Road” is used with broad meanings as a general concept to describe the ancient Eurasian transcontinental trading routes inclusive both the land and maritime channels.