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Traveling The Silk Road

Four thousand miles long, the Silk Road began in China and continued through Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, then to Greece and Italy and across the Mediterranean Sea or south through Israel into Africa. This network of trade routes between East and West from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE, was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious development of the Roman Empire. Soon after the Roman conquest of Egypt, regular communications and trade between China, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe blossomed on an unprecedented scale. With control of these trade routes, citizens of the Roman Empire enjoyed new luxuries and enhanced prosperity.

Despite the importance of the Silk Road to the Roman economy, Miriam could still tease Phoebe about it, as she did in “The Mistress,” one of the stories in the collection titled The Deadliest Deceptions to be published later this year:

With the agora clotted with tourists in addition to the usual mix of peddlers, beggars, pickpockets, swindlers, and sailors, I ended up hiring a most unlikely pair of bearers: a set of sharp-chinned twins with tentative mustaches and buckteeth, identical save for the leader’s prominent limp.

“Yikes! Is this the best you could find?” asked Phoebe, wrinkling her nose as if she smelled something bad.

“Get in. We’re not heading for China on the Silk Road.”

Goods were exchanged through barter on the Silk Road, but you don’t have to trade your finest possessions to buy any Miriam bat Isaac story. Keep an eye out for the publication of THE DEADLIEST DECEPTIONS or just click here.


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