Cross-cultural Relations between Tang and Byzantine Empires along the Silk Road
Beijing University Press
It is easy to understand that the culture of a nation is the result of an extremely long experience of countless generations, so their cultural heritage people get as a legacy of the past. And the movement forward consists in the fact that each generation, while retaining the acquired knowledge, adds new values to it and passes it to the future generations. So, we can agree that the meaning of the word culture is development, and when it comes to the culture of a nation, of course, we mean the degree of spiritual and material development it has reached.
As the Byzantine Empire played the role of a cultural transmitter to the West by promoting its civilization beyond the limits of the empire, the Tang Empire also transmitted its civilization in the East. At that time China was in a state of cultural bloom, envoys from nearby and faraway countries flocked to China to get knowledge and skills, thus mediating the exploration and the bringing together of two great civilizations – the Tang and the Byzantine.
During the reign of the Tang dynasty emperors, trade between East and West was greatly intensified and it reached its peak in the 8th century. If we generally divide medieval cultures around the world into Eastern, Arabic and Western, we can certainly say that all these are less or more influenced by Tang culture. Culture along the Silk Road is in constant circle, and since ancient times intercultural communication has been a common phenomenon, enriching not only Chinese, but all the cultures in the world.
Silk Road, Tang China, Byzantine Empire, cross-cultural relations