Central Asia and the Silk Road

Economic Rise and Decline over Several Millennia

  • Stephan Barisitz

Part of the Studies in Economic History book series (SEH)

Table of contents

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive overview of the pre-modern economic history of Central Asia and the Silk Road, covering several millennia. By analyzing an abundance of sources and materials, it illustrates the repeated economic heydays of the Silk Road, during which it linked the Orient and Occident for many centuries. Nomadic steppe empires frequently dominated Central Asia, molded its economy and influenced trade along the Silk Road. The book assesses the causes and effects of the wide-ranging overland trade booms, while also discussing various internal and external factors that led to the gradual economic decline of Central Asia and eventual demise of the Silk Road. Lastly, it explains how the economic decline gave rise to Chinese and Russian colonialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Detailed information, e.g. on the Silk Road’s trajectories in various epochs, is offered in the form of numerous newly drafted maps. 


History of Central Asia Silk Road Eurasian Steppe Normads Mongol Empire Han Dynasty Roman Empire Tang Dynasty Mongol Empire Chinese colonialism Russian colonialism

Authors and affiliations

  • Stephan Barisitz
    • 1
  1. 1.ViennaAustria

Bibliographic information