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Letter from the editor

Silver, Piracy, Conspicuous Consumption, and the Transformation of Ming China in the 16th Century

"Within 150 years of its formation, Ming Taizu’s fiscal system encompassing in-kind tax payments, conscripted labor service, and remuneration to officials and soldiers in goods rather than money gave way to a thriving commercialized economy of urban and rural markets, cash-cropping, specialized handicraft industries, and extensive interregional and illegal overseas trade, as well as a certain social fluidity that allowed merchants easier access to wealth and status. ..." – By Harriet Zurndorfer

The Classical Silk Road: Trade and Connectivity across Central Asia, 100 BCE–1200 CE

"The Silk Road trade began with a noticeable increase in the movement of goods across Central Asia in the 1st century BCE. This uptick coincided with an extended period during which the Xiongnu peoples of the Mongolian grasslands and the Han dynasty fought to control the Tarim Basin. ..." – By Valerie Hansen

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