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Join The Explorers Club on October 2nd to learn about the deep history of the horse and horse trade in the context of the Silk Road. David Chaffetz, author of the new book Raiders, Rulers, and Traders: The Horse and the Rise of Empires, will share his new research.

 

The most important commodity traded on the Silk Road was horse flesh, not silk. India and China, because of their climate and ecology, never succeeded in raising enough horses for their imperial needs. The steppe, being the native habitat for the horse, supplied as many as 200,000 horses a year to their horse hungry neighbors. This huge business brought riches to inner Asia, and often enabled horse dealers to seize power from their customers. Explorers of inner Asia looked for silk, but mostly found silk swathes– effectively paper money. This was used to pay for the imports of horses. The evocative name ”Silk Road” remains, while the memory of the enormous horse caravans has almost disappeared.

 

This in-person event at the Explorers Club Headquarters will include an audience Q&A.


Streaming live here on explorers.org, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live — Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:00 pm ET.

RESERVATIONS

This will be an in-person lecture at Explorers Club Headquarters.

In-person tickets are $15 for Members, and $30 for the General Public.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Speakers

David Chaffetz

David Chaffetz is an independent scholar with a lifelong passion for Middle Eastern and Inner Asian history. His 1981 book, several times republished, A Journey through Afghanistan, earned praise from Owen Lattimore, the then doyen of Inner Asian studies in America and the UK.  He is a regular contributor to the Asian Review of Books, and has written for the South China Morning Post and the Nikkei Asian Review. His most recent book, Three Asian Divas, describes the important role of elite women entertainers in the transmission of traditional Asian culture.

A graduate of Harvard University, Chaffetz had the privilege of studying with two great scholars of Inner Asia, Richard Frye and Joseph Fletcher. At Columbia University he was editor of the Columbia Journal of International Affairs and a student of the noted Central Asian specialist, Edward Allworth.  In the forty years since, he has extensively traveled in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Russia in Asia.  Chaffetz reads and performs research in over 10 languages, including Persian, Turkish and Russian.

He is a member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asian Society and the Gremio Literario (Literary Society) of Lisbon.  He divides his time between Lisbon and Paris.

October 2,2024
October 2, 2024
6:00 PM
6:00 PM
David Chaffetz
David Chaffetz
The Explorers Club
The Explorers Club
Discoveries on the Road Click here to purchase tickets

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