Golden Web

Golden Web

Published 2002

For at least one thousand years, Islam set astride the world’s great trade route known to historians as the “Golden Web.” This Golden Web route spread throughout the Middle East and was deemed one of the most lucrative. This route allowed gigantic trains of over sixty thousand people and as many animals to arrive on a regular basis from the great cities of China and central Asia to Eastern Europe. The route covers several major cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara and the Abbasid capital of Baghdad. The capital population then was about two million.

Muslims Trade Routes North Africa, Europe
From Baghdad, the same goods would then be shipped on to other destinations like Constantinople in Eastern Europe and south to Busra and Yemen. Yemen was a great source for spice and perfume. From Busra, the sea route to India and from there to the Indies. Finally, there was the trade route to Europe.

Muslims World Trade Routes
The influence of the Muslims was felt on the Southern fringes of Europe along the Mediterranean Sea. In Southern France, for example, in the town of Langouste Begeeni, there were Muslim settlements known to historians as Frahcenatum, not far from present day Nice. Also on the Italian cost there were a number of small Muslim settlements along the cost. Anaglyph was best known among these cities because of the trading that was developed under the Muslim rule of Sicily.

Arabian Nights Legends
The adventurous legends “Aladdin,” “Sinbad the Sailor,” and “Ali Baba.” (700-1200) are direct reflection of the enormous culture of trade of the Golden Web and the importance of the two cities, Baghdad and Busra to this maritime. These adventurous legends are only few of the many Arabian Nights that were the main entertainment media then and continued to be so well into our modern times. Abbasid writers also developed new a genres of literature such as adab, the embodiment of sensible counsel, sometimes in the form of animal fables; a typical example is Kalilah wa-Dimnah, translated by Ibn al-Muqaffa’ from a Pahlavi version of an Indian work. Writers of this period also studied tribal traditions and wrote the first systematic Arabic grammar.

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