Kushan Empire Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Drama - World Type: Essay Paper: #86554139 Related Topics: Urbanization, East Asian History, Pakistan, Buddhism
Excerpt from Essay :


Urban Planning and Trade in Kushan: The Silk Road at its Prime

The Kushan Empire was a "key player" in the Silk Roads era, from about 100 BCE to 250 CE (Craig 119). Along with the Yuezhi and Xiognu, the Kushan were key players in Central Asia. The Kushan Empire did not evolve in isolation, but rather depended on exchanges in ideas, technologies, and products to grow and expand its wealth, power, and influence. As a result of its centralization of power and amassing of great wealth, the Kushan Empire developed an urban social and political landscape. The Kushan blended traditions from Hellenistic Greece, India, and Central Asia to develop its own unique approach to Urban Life and Urbanization characterized the Kushan Empire, setting it apart within the realm of Central Asian history. As Litvinsky puts it, "at no time in the ancient history of Central Asia had there been so many cities" as there were from the first century BCE to the third and fourth centuries CE (291). Pakistan now is less urban than it was when the Kushan Empire existed (Litvinsky). Taxila was an early capital of Kushan; later capitals included Purushapura, modern-day Peshawar. Kushan cities were divided into three distinct parts, including the citadel, the urban core, and...


Borrowing from Indian models of urban planning and development, Kushan cities were most often rectangular in shape and well planned (Litvinsky).

Religious buildings like Buddhist temples would have been situated in the suburban areas. As the Indian religion of Buddhism became more popular in Kushan, Kushan cities responded in turn with lively Buddhist art scenes and monasteries especially during the second century CE (United States Department of Defense). Both urban and suburban areas enabled the development of extensive commercial activities. The citadel symbolized the power center of each urban area, and was heavily fortified, protected not only by impenetrable walls but also militaristically monitored. Therefore, Kushan city planners borrowed their town planning aesthetic and engineering concepts from India.

The Kushan Empire was "at the center of the Silk Road, midway between China and India in the east and the Mediterranean world in the west," making trade was a critical component of its success (United States Department of Defense). However, the Kushan's trade network had already been established by the time the empire became urbanized. The Kushan Empire learned to master trade from the Central Asian nomadic traders…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Benjamin, Craig. "Connections Across Eurasia." Journal of Global History. Vol. 3, Issue 1, Mar 2008, pp. 119-120

Litvinksy, B.A. "Cities and urban life in the Kushan Kingdom." The Development of Urban Patterns.

United States Department of Defense (n.d.). The Kushan Empire. Retrieved online: http://www.cemml.colostate.edu/cultural/09476/afgh02-08enl.html

Cite this Document:

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