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Merchants, Pilgrims and Highwaymen: A History of Roads Through the Ages
Merchants Pilgrims and Highwaymen A History of Roads Through the Ages Author:Schreiber, Hermann From the dust jacket: — If there is any one single fact responsible for man's constant advance from his cave-dwelling days to our modern age, it is simply that he has preferred travelling to staying. Whether for travelling for adventure, precious stones, rare goods, curiosity, or salvation, he has constructed an elaborate network of roads rangin... more »g from the dirt tracks of 3,500 years ago to the latest super-highway.
The amber routes of the Etruscans, the military roads of Persia, Greece, and Rome, the silk routes of China, the paths of the Crusaders and medieval pilgrims, the trails of the Incas, all are part of man's quest for the unknown, for excitement, for his social, economic, or spiritual betterment.
From the journals of Alexander the Great, Chang-tien (a much-travelled Chinese administrator of the third century B.C.), Caesar, Marco Polo, Napoleon and many an anonymous merchant, traveller, soldier, Hermann Schreiber has recreated this thrilling record of travellers, down through the ages, thereby providing innumerable insights into history, economic development, and changing social mores.
Since the earliest days, getting there has been the hardes part. Much of "Merchants, Pilgrims and Highwaymen" concerns the countless adversities ingenious and intrepid travellers had to overcome: the natural hazards of desert, mountains, and treacherous rivers; the more human but equally troublesome dangers presented by the Mongolian hordes of Asia, medieval robber barons, rapacious European highwaymen of the 17th and 18th centuries - and their burgher brethren who were hardly more hospitable.
Bringing to bear all his talents as an archaeologist, historian, and social commentator, Hermann Schreiber handles this fascinating subject in a lively and entertaining manner.« less