عنوان مقاله [English]
Recent research on the relations between Iran and China believes that the real beginning of the Iranian and Chinese cultural contacts coincides with Zhang Qian’s journey to the western borders of the Han Empire in the second century BC. Before Zhang Qian’s adventures in the West Asia towards the late second century BC the Iranian and Hellenic cultures had been widely introduced due to the measures taken by the Achaemenid kings and Alexander the Great. All this evolution prepared the proper context for the prosperity and the development of the Silk Road and a more profound interaction between the East and West. Relying of a wide variety of sources, the present essay, first intends to focus on the cultural contact between Iranian and Chinese cultures before and after the westward explorations of Zhang Qian. Second, this article aims to show the role of the conquests of Cyrus the great, Alexander and then the formation of Parthian empire in the opening and expanding of the Silk Road.