Artaxerxes in Cunaxa, near Babylon. During the battle
The legendary Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, who has ruled China in
Cyrus died. Losing their leader, the battle and the cause,
about 3000 BC., is credited with the introduction of
the Myriads are stranded in the midst of nowhere.
silkworm rearing and the invention of the loom. The Silk
Xenophon persuades the generals and the mercenaries to
Road connects China with the Mediterranean Sea, as more
return to their homeland following a different route. They
people appreciate the wonderful cloths, the silks. The Silk
start their journey home heading north. Marching parallel
Road was a network of trade routes, established in China. It
along the Tigris River, they passed the Kurdish and
linked the East and the West from 130 BCE, to 1453 CE.
Armenian territory. They cross today's cities Malazgirt,
The closing of the Silk Road by the Ottoman Empire forced
Kars, Yusufeli, Bayburt . At Gümühane they climb over the
merchants to take to the sea route, leading to the Discovery
Zigana Pass to reach the Black Sea. When the soldiers saw
the Black Sea, they happily started to shout Thalatta,
Marco Polo was the only foreigner envoy at the Court of
Thalatta! (the sea, the sea!).
the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan with a golden passport.
The Myriads march downhill towards Trabzon, and from
Marco was born, into a merchant family in Venice in 1254.
there continue westwards along the coast, until they reach
He traveled with his father and uncle from Europe to Asia
in the eastern mouth of the Bosporus, ile, back then a
for more than 20 years (1271-1295). To make sure the
small settlement called Calpe. In the spring of 399 BC they
Polos would be given every assistance on their travels,
head towards a larger Greek city called Byzantium, which
Kublai Khan presented them with a golden tablet, a foot
after several centuries becomes Constantinople.
long and three inches wide. It was inscribed with the words:
By the strength of the eternal Heaven, holy be the Khan's
THE SILK ROAD
name. Let him that pays him not reverence be killed. The
golden tablet was the special passport, authorizing travelers
to receive horses, lodging, food and guides throughout the