Historically, the Indian Ocean was a major trade route, with Chinese and Arab trade predominating, moving silk from China, spices from Indonesia to India’s Malabar Coast and Arab trade in slaves, ivory and sandalwood and ebony which made the East African Swahili Coast (from Kenya to Mozambique) fabulously wealthy.
The Silk Route is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting East and West by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time. The first person who used the term "Seidenstraße" or "Silk Road" was the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877.
Geographically, the Silk Road is an interconnected series of ancient trade routes between Chang'an (today's Xi'an) in China, with Asia Minor and the subcontinent, and Rome, and helped to lay the foundations for the modern world. The Silk Route extends westwards from the commercial centres of North China, the continental Silk Road divides into north and south routes to avoid the Tibetan Plateau. The northern route travels northwest through the Chinese province of Gansu, and splits into three further routes, two of them passing north and south of the Taklamakan Desert (through modern day Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang) to rejoin at Kashgar; and the other going north of the Tien Shan mountains through Turfan and Almaty (in what is now southeast Kazakhstan).
All routes join up at Kokand in the Fergana Valley, and the roads continue west across the Karakum Desert towards Merv, joining the northern route briefly.
One of these routes turns northwest along the Amu Darya (river) including Bukhara and Samarkand the center of Silk Road trade to the Aral Sea, through ancient civilizations under the present site of Astrakhan, and on to the Crimean peninsula.From there it crosses the Black Sea, Marmara Sea and the Balkans to Venice, another crosses the Caspian Sea and across the Caucasus to the Black Sea in Georgia, thence to Constantinople.
The southern route is mainly a single route running through northern India, then the Turkestan-Khorasan region into Mesopotamia and Anatolia; having southward spurs enabling the journey to be completed by sea from various points.It runs south through the Sichuan Basin in China and crosses the high mountains into northeast India, probably via the Ancient tea route.It then travels west along the Brahmaputra and Ganges river plains, possibly joining the Grand Trunk Road west of Varanasi.
Through northern Pakistan and over the Hindu Kush mountains to rejoin the northern route briefly near Merv.
It then followed a nearly straight line west through mountainous northern Iran and the northern tip of the Syrian Desert to the Levant. From there Mediterranean trading ships plied regular routes to Italy, and land routes went either north through Anatolia or south to North Africa. Another branching road traveled from Herat through Susa to Charax Spasinu at the head of the Persian Gulf and across to Petra and Alexandria from where ships carried the cargoes to Rome and other Mediterranean ports.
Macedonian cuisine (Makedonska kujna) is the traditional cuisine of the Republic of Macedonia—a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans—reflecting Mediterranean (Greek and Turkish) and Middle Eastern influences, and to a lesser extent Italian, German and Eastern European (especially Hungarian) ones. The relatively warm climate in the Republic of Macedonian provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.
Famous for its rich Shopska salad, an appetizer and side dish which accompanies almost every meal, Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija.
Tavče-gravče and mastika are considered the national dish and drink of the Republic of Macedonia, respectively.
In antiquity, most of the territory that is now the Republic of Macedonia was included in the kingdom of Paeonia, which was populated by the Paeonians, a people of Thracian origins, but also parts of ancient Illyria and Dardania, inhabited by various Illyrian peoples, and Lyncestis and Pelagonia populated by Molossian tribes. None of these had fixed boundaries; they were sometimes subject to the Kings of Macedon, and sometimes broke away. In 336 BC Philip II of Macedon conquered Upper Macedonia, including its northern part and southern Paeonia, which both now lie within the Republic of Macedonia. Philip's son Alexander the Great conquered the remainder of the region, reaching as far north as the Danube, and incorporated it in his empire. The Romans included most of the Republic in their Province of Macedonia, but the northernmost parts lay in Moesia; by the time of Diocletian, they had been subdivided, and the Republic was split between Macedonia Salutaris and Moesia prima.
In 280 BC the Gallic invaders under Brennus ravaged the land of the Paionians, who were further hard pressed by the Dardani. Later Paeonia consolidated again, but in 217 BC the Macedonian king Philip V of Macedon (220-179 BC), among other things succeeded in uniting most from the separated regions of Dassaretia and Paionia into the Macedonian kingdom. In 146 BC, the Roman legions led from the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon in 148 BC. Paionia around the Axios formed the second and third districts respectively of the Roman province of Macedonia (Livy xiv. 29). Centuries later under Diocletian, Paionia and Pelagonia formed a province called Macedonia Salutaris, belonging to the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum, but the northern border regions, inhabited by the Dardani, became a part of Moesia Superior. By AD 400, however, the Paionians had lost their identity, and Paeonia was merely a geographic term.
From the fifth century BC to the first century BC, Zoroastrianism spread into the Western Regions of China. It was regarded as the earliest religion passing to this area. It was once the state religion of Persia. After the rise of Arab Empire, Zoroastrianism was forced to move to the east. The religion developed rapidly during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589) and the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). After the Song Dynasty (960-1279), this religion had largely disappeared although its practices were carried on by the Uygurs (Uigurs) and the Tajiks. Manicheism is a mixture of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and ancient Greek ideas. In contrast to Zoroastrianism, it was very popular among the common Chinese people. Though it was prohibited by the Tang Dynasty, it had a great influence on people. Nestorianism, a school of Syrian Christianity, has many dogmatas and doctrines different from traditional Christianity. In 635, it was introduced into China via the time-honored Silk Road. Tang Emperor Taizong, Li Shimin ordered people to build a temple to practise Nestorianism. The temple was variously called Persian Temple, Roman Temple and Daqin Temple. From the seventh century AD, Arab muslims traveled to China by the Silk Road or the sea route to spread Islam. In the Tang Dynasty, Guangdong Province and Quanzhou were the strongholds of most Islamic believers. Islam had a profound effect on spiritual beliefs in China.