Book Chapter

Roman envoys and trade ambassadors in Han China

R McLaughlin, HJ Kim

Rome and China: Points of Contact | Routledge | Published : 2021


Almost equivalent in geographical size and population, Rome and Han China were among the largest empires in the ancient world. The sight of Han officials in the company of Parthian dignitaries would have been highly disconcerting for the Roman envoys and perhaps they were reluctant to answer certain questions. Roman sources suggest that Chinese silk became a popular commodity in their empire where it was used for military banners and to enhance the valuable togas worn by citizens as a symbol of special social status. The first attempt by the Han dynasty to make diplomatic contact with the Roman Empire occurred in the context of the Han reconquest of the Tarim kingdoms. The discovery of the S..

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