What was the Silk Road? The history of the Silk Road begins with the Persians of 500 BCE and stretches all the way to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE. As one of the most important trade routes in human history, facts about the Silk Road are a gateway into vitally important times - both good and bad. Far from a dusty track in the middle of nowhere, the Silk Road carried priceless goods, art, and knowledge all across Europe and Asia.
Silk Road trivia encompasses everything from the Mongols to the Black Plague to one of the first documented cases of industrial espionage and even the unofficial creed of the US Postal Service. It involves Chinese dynasties, Muslim empires, Mongol hordes, and great European lands. It also shaped the Age of Discovery, eventually forcing explorers to find new ways to the Orient - finding the New World in the process.Here are some of the most interesting facts about Silk Road, a place that still shapes the modern world.
Precursors to the Silk Road Were Built by the Persians
Persian Couriers Were So Good, They Inspired the US Post Office
The couriers who delivered messages on the Royal Road were so efficient that they could travel almost 1,700 miles in seven days on horseback. In his Histories, Greek historian Herodotus memorialized the Persian riders, writing "There is nothing in the world that travels faster than these Persian couriers. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness of night prevents these couriers from completing their designated stages with utmost speed."A version of this phrase was carved on the James Farley Post Office in New York City, and is traditionally thought of as the US Postal Service's unofficial motto.