The Silk Road was a network of trade and cultural transmission routes through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads, and urban dwellers from China, India and Persia to the Mediterranean Sea. Silk was the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and various technologies, as well as diseases, also travelled along the trade routes. The Silk Road also served as a very important means of disseminating religious and cultural ideas along its network. Trade and travel depended on political stability in Central Asia which was provided at various times by the Persian, Chinese and Mongol empires.
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