Dominance of Sogdian Merchants on the Silk Road During the Medieval Age: a Semi-private Ordering Organization,

Janet T. Landa (York University, Toronto, Canada)

Abstract: This paper describes the organization of a trade network along the Silk Road in the seventh and eighth centuries, a trade network dominated by an ethnically homogeneous Sogdian merchant group. I will apply my theory of the ethnically homogeneous middleman group (EHMG, Landa 1981) - involved in the marketing of smallholders' rubber in SouthEast Asia - to explain the success of the Sogdian merchants in the medieval period. A new twist in this paper is that unlike the Chinese EHMG, which is a private ordering organization, the Sogdian merchant group had some governmental participation, hence the Sogdian merchant group was a semi-private ordering phenomenon.

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