Back To The Silk Roads

In response to my recent post on the so-called Silk Roads, a reader asked me what books I would recommend for someone interested in learning more about the subject. I will try to show some restraint.*

Here are some of my favorite books and websites on the subject:

  • Boulnois, Luce and Helen Loveday. Silk Road: Monks, Warriors and Merchants.   2003.
  • Sims-Williams, Ursula and Susan Whitfield.  The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith.   2004.
  • Wood, Frances.  The Silk Road: 2000 Years in the Heart of Asia. 2002
  • Wyatt, James C. Y. When Silk Was Gold: Central Asia and Chinese Textiles. 1997.
  • Saudi Aramco World’s silk roads issue **
  • For the truly hard core:  The Silk Road Foundation

Enjoy!  And feel free to add more suggestions, or argue about my choices, in the comments.



*It’s always dangerous asking me this type of question.  Where some people have an Inner Child, I have an Inner Reference Librarian.  You have been warned.

**  If you’re interested in things Islamic, Saudi Aramco World can’t be beat.  You can sign up for a free hard copy subscription or read it on-line each month,


  1. Davide on May 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you for your kind answer, I’ll check the books you suggested as soon as possible.

    In exchange, I’ll suggest by Peter Hopkirk “Foreign Devils on the silk road”. It’s old (1980), but still quite good in my opinion. And with a title like that, how resist?

    So you have an Inner Reference librarian? Well, I’m officially envious… Where can I get one?

    • pamela on May 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm


      I just added Foreign Devils on the Silk Road” to the ever-growing to-be-read list. It looks like great fun.

      Since you were quick with a suggested title, I bet you already have an Inner Reference Librarian.

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