13Lectures 12 and 13In the 4thcentury BCE, the armies of Alexander (Fig. 12-11) conquered Persia and extended through Turkistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern Indian including the Indus Valley (Fig. 12-12). Greek settlements and commercial posts were founded between the Mediterranean and India along the western section of the trade routes, which became known as the Silk Road. Alexander’s campaign led to increased botanical knowledge concerning herbs and spices. With the conquest of Egypt, the new city of Alexandria became the most important trading center between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean and the Gateway to the East.The Silk Road was undoubtedly the route of Asian crops such as citrus and peach to the West. In fact, the peach, domesticated in China 3300–2500 BCE(Faust 1995), is so named because it sojourned in Persia on the way and mistakenly thought to have originated there (Fig. 12-13). It was imported to Rome during the 2ndcentury BCE.
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