|The Xiyu chuan (Chapter on the Western
Regions) from Hou Han shu 88 (25-55 AD) Translated by John
E. Hill. This is the key text from which we can learn about the
Arab world from a Chinese perspective. Possible name places include:
Gerrha, Petra, Kerak, al-Jauf, and perhaps, Leuce Come.
You can access John Hill's research by clicking on
the link below and visiting the University of Washington's Web
|The notes attached to John Hill's translation
(above). This large file is not quite complete but should be
made into smaller documents in the near future.
|More ancient Chinese documents can be found here. This
is a good site to bookmark and browse when you have time because
it contains a vast amount of information.
|Silk Road site at the Simpson Center for the
Humanities at the University of Washington
|Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads
in World History by David Christian, Journal of World History
11.1 (2000), pp. 1-26. Online from the Journal of World History
|Another good book to read is China and the
Roman Orient by Friedrich Hirth (1875) and republished recently
by Ares Publishers in Chicago.
||An excellent French book is: "Les pays
dOccident daprès le Heou Han chou in
Toung pao 8 in Toung pao 8 by Édouard
Chavannes, (1907) Many of Chavannes' notes are out of date. John
Hill's translation of the Chinese texts and accompanying notes
are more up to date.
|An annotated translation of Chapters 61 and 96
of the Han shu by A. F. P. Hulsewé and M.
A. N. Lowe is available in China in Central Asia, Leiden,
E. J. Brill, 1979 (including detailed notes on the identification
of many place-names also found in the Hou Han shu),
||The Roman Empire in Chinese Sources by
D. D. Leslie and K. H. J. Gardiner, Bardi Editore, Roma, 1996
contains translations of almost all of the relevant texts relating
to the Roman Empire accompanied with copious notes but, unfortunately
it is rather hard to find, and does not include the Chinese originals.
It does, however, contain material unavailable elsewhere in English
and is a useful reference.
|| Another good source is: Records of the
Grand Historian of China: Translated from the Shih chi of Ssu-ma
Chien by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press,
New York and London, 1961. (Check out chapter 123: The Account
of Ta-yüan, on pp. 264-289)