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The horse had long been known in China and had been used in warfare for cavalry and chariots as early as the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1046 BCE) but the Chinese admired the western horse for its size and speed.

With the western horse of the Dayuan, the Han Dynasty defeated the Xiongnu.

As they both favored Chinese silk, which was increasingly becoming associated with licentiousness, Octavian exploited the link to deprecate his enemies.

Though Octavian triumphed over Antony and Cleopatra, he could do nothing to curtail the popularity of silk.

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Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness of night prevents these couriers from completing their designated stages with utmost speed." These lines, from his Histories, 8.98, would centuries later form the creed of the United States of America’s post office.

Both terms for this network of roads were coined by the German geographer and traveler, Ferdinand von Richthofen, in 1877 CE, who designated them ' Seidenstrasse’ (silk road) or ' Seidenstrassen’ (silk routes).

The network was used regularly from 130 BCE, when the Han officially opened trade with the west, to 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the routes.

In time, these Macedonian warriors intermarried with the indigenous populace creating the Greco-Bactrian culture which flourished under the Seleucid Empire following Alexander’s death.

Under the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus I (260-195 BCE) the Greco-Bactrians had extended their holdings.