Caravans: Indian Merchants on the Silk Road

More than a century ago, Russian Orientalists advanced a number of erroneous assumptions about Central Asian history that even today remain embedded within the “Silk Road” paradigm. This presentation illustrates how this received wisdom continues to shape our understanding of early modern Central Asian history, and how recent work in Indian history demonstrates the need to rethink these longstanding ideas and approach historical work on the Silk Road with a more critical perspective. The presentation draws on Scott Levi’s more than fifteen years of work on the subject, which has culminated in the recent publication his new book, Caravans: Indian Merchants on the Silk Road (Penguin, 2015).

Presented by Professor Scott Levi, History Department, The Ohio State University at the Clio Society, Thurs., April 30, 2015.


The Clio Society consists of friends of the History Department at The Ohio State University. Some attendees are current and former students of the university; some earned degrees in history; others are current and former faculty members of the department; some have an interest in the History Department and its continued growth in excellence; and all love to read and talk about history. They range in ages from 18 to 88 and from history specialists to business people, lawyers, and other professionals who never lost their interest in history. For more information about the Clio Society, please visit http://clio.osu.edu.