This first and only English translation of Rong Xinjiang’s The Silk Road and Cultural Exchanges Between East and West is a collection of 28 papers on the history of the Silk Road and the interactions among the peoples and cultures of East and Central Asia, including the so-called Western Regions in modern-day Xinjiang. Each paper is a masterly study that combines information obtained from historical records with excavated materials, such as manuscripts, inscriptions and artefacts. The new materials primarily come from north-western China, including sites in the regions of Dunhuang, Turfan, Kucha, and Khotan. The book contains a wealth of original insights into nearly every aspect of the complex history of this region.
Rong Xinjiang is the Boya Chair Professor in the Department of History at Peking University. He has made outstanding contributions in the fields of the history of Sino-Western cultural exchanges, the Silk Road, the Chinese history during the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the history of Central Asia, as well as Dunhuang and Turfan studies. He has published hundreds of articles and monographs, some of which have also appeared in English, including Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang (Brill, 2013). In 2021, he was elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.
Sally K Church, Ph.D. (1992), Harvard University, is an Affiliated Researcher and a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, and a Research Associate at the Needham Research Institute. She publishes on China's historical involvement in maritime and overland communications.
Professor Imre Galambos is a specialist in Chinese manuscripts. He obtained his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, with a dissertation on early Chinese writing. After graduation, he joined the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library and began to work on the Dunhuang manuscripts. After ten years, he took up a teaching post at the University of Cambridge, where he is now Professor of Chinese. He has written extensively on the manuscripts excavated from sites along the historical Silk Roads.
Contents Preface Acknowledgements List of Figures, Maps and Tables Translators
part 1: The Silk Road
1 The Silk Road and Ancient Xinjiang Translated by Sally K. Church
2 The Anxi Protectorate and the Silk Road in the Tang Period, with a Focus on the Documents Excavated at Turfan Translated by Sally K. Church
3 Beiting on the Silk Road (7th–10th Centuries) Translated by Li Huawei 李華偉
4 The City of Tongwan and the History of Sino-Western Communications in the Medieval Period Translated by Sally K. Church
5 Gaochang in the Second Half of the 5th Century and its Relations with the Rouran Qaghanate and the Kingdoms of the Western Regions Translated by Sally K. Church
part 2: Cultural Exchange and Interaction
6 Persian and Chinese: The Integration of Two Cultures in the Tang Dynasty Translated by Li Huawei 李華偉 and Zheng Chunhua 鄭春華
7 New Evidence on the History of Contacts between the Tang Dynasty and the Abbasid Caliphate: Yang Liangyao’s Embassy Translated by Sally K. Church
8 Cultural Contacts between China and India from the Late Tang to the Early Song in Light of the Dunhuang Manuscripts Translated by Zhou Liqun 周利群 and Zhu Chenfeng 朱陳鋒
9 Historical Evidence for Cultural Exchanges between the Tang and Silla: The Inscription for the Meditation Cloister at the Dayun Monastery in Haizhou Translated by Li Huawei 李華偉
10 Diplomatic Relations in East Asia in the 8th Century and Japanese Embassies to Tang China Translated by June Manjun Zhang 張嫚雋
11 The Official Reception of Japanese Envoys during the Tang Dynasty as Seen from the Epitaph of I no Manari Translated by June Manjun Zhang 張嫚雋
part 3: The Westward Spread of Chinese Culture
12 The Network of Chinese Buddhist Monasteries in the Western Regions under Tang Control Translated by June M. Zhang 張嫚雋
13 The Circulation of Chinese Texts in the Region of Kucha in the Tang Dynasty: The German Turfan Collection Translated by Sally K. Church
14 The Transmission of Chan Buddhism to the Western Regions in the Tang Dynasty Translated by Mia Ye Ma 馬也
15 The “Lanting xu” in the Western Regions Translated by James Kunling He 何坤靈
16 The Transmission of Wang Xizhi’s “Shang xiang Huang Qi tie” in the Western Regions Translated by James Kunling He 何坤靈
17 Reception and Rejection: The Transmission of Chinese Texts into the Western Regions during the Tang Dynasty Translated by Sally K. Church
part 4: Contributions to China of Foreign Material Culture
18 Sogdian Merchants and Sogdian Culture on the Silk Road Translated by Flavia Xi Fang 方希
19 Currency on the Silk Road and the Sogdian Merchants Translated by Sally K. Church
20 The Life of a Sogdian Leader on the Silk Road – A Rough Summary of the Images on Shi Jun’s Sarcophagus Translated by Tong Yangyang 同楊陽
21 Khotanese Felt and Sogdian Silver: Foreign Gifts to Buddhist Monasteries in 9th and 10th Century Dunhuang Translated by Sarah Fraser
22 The Exchange of Silk Textiles between Dunhuang and Khotan during the 10th Century Translated by Sally K. Church
part 5: The Transmission of the Three Foreign Religions
23 The Colophon of the Manuscript of the Golden Light Sutra Excavated in Turfan and the Transmission of Zoroastrianism to Gaochang Translated by Li Huawei 李華偉
24 Buddhist Images or Zoroastrian Deities? Religious Syncretism on the Silk Road as Seen from Khotan Translated by Flavia Xi Fang 方希
25 Further Discussion of the Mixing of Religions on the Silk Road: A New View of the Buddhist Murals in Khotan Translated by Mia Ye Ma 馬也
26 Jingjiao Christians as Heretics in the Eyes of Buddhists and Daoists of the Tang Dynasty Translated by Flavia Xi Fang 方希
27 The Authenticity of Some Jingjiao Texts from Dunhuang Translated by Sun Jicheng 孫繼成
28 The Western Regions: The Last Paradise of Manichaeism Translated by Sally K. Church
Epilogue Translated by Sally K. Church
Appendix: Introduction to Converting Chinese Dates into Western Dates
Universities, research institutes, libraries, historians, sinologists, political scientists, archaeologists, specialists in international relations, material culture, cultural studies, China studies, and Central Asian studies, and undergraduate/postgraduate students interested in the history of the Silk Road during the first millennium, as well as China’s rich contacts with cultures to the west.