Application and Reflection Questions
Why did the Indian subcontinent remain largely segmented and decentralized from the eighth through the tenth centuries, while many neighboring states (such as China) became increasingly centralized?
Consider the role the internet now plays in international commerce. What are some of the similarities and differences between the internet and historic trade networks?
How do the luxury goods of the late Middle Ages compare with our luxury goods today? If the Silk Roads still existed, what might be the most important goods traded along this route?
Did the interactions between the Tang and Abbasid states positively affect one, both, or neither? Why?
How did the arrival of Islam in South and Southeast Asia affect the indigenous populations there?
In what ways did the cultural blending on the Swahili coast make it an ideal region of exchange between the east and the peoples of Africa?
How did their relative openness to foreign innovation and culture affect the development of border states like Sogdiana, Japan, and Korea?
How did states like Japan and Korea benefit from having common cultural traits in this era?