Age of Empires Series Wiki
Info icon
This article is about the technology in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. For the map in Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon and Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, see Silk Road (map).

Silk Road is a technology in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten that is unique to the Italians and can be researched at the Castle once the Imperial Age is reached. Once researched, it halves the cost of Trade Carts and Trade Cogs.


While not being of much use outside of team games, Silk Road can save a lot of resources down the line in games where trade is important. If a trade route gets destroyed and needs to be re-established, then Silk Road softens the blow significantly. Also, with Shipwright and Silk Road, Trade Cogs only cost 40 wood, 25 gold, and they move extremely fast. This makes them excellent naval scouts.

Team bonuses[]


The Silk Road was a trading route, beginning in China and created during the Han Dynasty, which acted as the main artery of trade throughout Eurasia. Running through its veins were not only Asian luxuries and European staples, but ideas, religions, and even disease. From 200 BC to 1450 AD, the Silk Road's patterns of interactions changed with the Black Plague and the spread of Islam and Buddhism. For almost 1700 years the Silk Road was the biggest world trade network. It was not actually one single road but a wide network, that is why historians prefer to use the term "Silk Routes".

Catalan Atlas caravan drawing

Marco Polo's caravan on the Silk Road, 1380

The economic exchange of trading goods produced a network of trade centers and cities. Traders passed through the great mountain ranges of the Tien Shan, Karakorams, and Hindu Kush and skirted inhospitable deserts, such as the Taklamakan and Gobi. Caravanserais, rest stops along the Silk Roads, allowed travelers to exchange ideas and innovations and created awareness of different cultures and religions. By the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus (r. 27 BCE – 14 CE) trade between China and the west was firmly established and silk was the most sought-after commodity in Egypt, Greece, and, especially, in Rome.

Other valuable commodities were paper, gunpowder, spices, tea, ivory, cotton, wool, precious metals, ideas, and information. Durant writes, "Italy enjoyed an 'unfavorable' balance of trade – cheerfully [buying] more than she sold" but still exported rich goods to China such as "carpets, jewels, amber, metals, dyes, drugs, and glass". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Venetian traveler Marco Polo traveled to China using the route. The Byzantine emperor Justinian (r. 527- 565 CE), tired of paying the exorbitant prices the Chinese demanded for silk, sent two emissaries, disguised as monks, to China to steal silkworms and smuggle them back to the west. The plan was successful and initiated the Byzantine silk industry. When the Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453 CE, the Ottoman Empire closed the ancient routes of the Silk Road and cut all ties with the west, which initiated the maritime Age of Discovery and the start of colonialism.


Further reading[]

Unique technologies in Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBritons AoE2 Yeomen · Byzantines AoE2 Greek Fire · Celts AoE2 Stronghold · Chinese AoE2 Great Wall · Franks AoE2 Bearded Axe · Goths AoE2 Anarchy · Japanese AoE2 Yasama · Mongols AoE2 Nomads · Persians AoE2 Kamandaran · Saracens AoE2 Bimaristan · Teutons AoE2 Ironclad · Turks AoE2 Sipahi · Vikings AoE2 Chieftains
UniqueTechImperialDEBritons AoE2 Warwolf · Byzantines AoE2 Logistica · Celts AoE2 Furor Celtica · Chinese AoE2 Rocketry · Franks AoE2 Chivalry · Goths AoE2 Perfusion · Japanese AoE2 Kataparuto · Mongols AoE2 Drill · Persians AoE2 Citadels · Saracens AoE2 Counterweights · Teutons AoE2 Crenellations · Turks AoE2 Artillery · Vikings AoE2 Bogsveigar
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEAztecs AoE2 Atlatl · Huns AoE2 Marauders · Koreans AoE2 Eupseong · Mayans AoE2 Hul'che Javelineers · Spanish AoE2 Inquisition
UniqueTechImperialDEAztecs AoE2 Garland Wars · Huns AoE2 Atheism · Koreans AoE2 Shinkichon · Mayans AoE2 El Dorado · Spanish AoE2 Supremacy
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEIncas AoE2 Andean Sling · Italians AoE2 Pavise · Magyars AoE2 Corvinian Army · Slavs AoE2 Detinets
UniqueTechImperialDEIncas AoE2 Fabric Shields · Italians AoE2 Silk Road · Magyars AoE2 Recurve Bow · Slavs AoE2 Druzhina
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBerbers AoE2 Kasbah · Ethiopians AoE2 Tigui · Malians AoE2 Royal Heirs · Portuguese AoE2 Carrack
UniqueTechImperialDEBerbers AoE2 Maghrebi Camels · Ethiopians AoE2 Farimba · Malians AoE2 Torsion Engines · Portuguese AoE2 Arquebus
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBurmese AoE2 Manipur Cavalry · Khmer AoE2 Tusk Swords · Malay AoE2 Thalassocracy · Vietnamese AoE2 Chatras
UniqueTechImperialDEBurmese AoE2 Howdah · Khmer AoE2 Double Crossbow · Malay AoE2 Forced Levy · Vietnamese AoE2 Paper Money
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last Khans civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBulgarians AoE2 Stirrups · Cumans AoE2 Steppe Husbandry · Lithuanians AoE2 Hill Forts · Tatars AoE2 Silk Armor
UniqueTechImperialDEBulgarians AoE2 Bagains · Cumans AoE2 Cuman Mercenaries · Lithuanians AoE2 Tower Shields · Tatars AoE2 Timurid Siegecraft
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBurgundians AoE2 Burgundian Vineyards · Sicilians AoE2 First Crusade
UniqueTechImperialDEBurgundians AoE2 Flemish Revolution · Sicilians AoE2 Hauberk
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBohemians AoE2 Wagenburg Tactics · Poles AoE2 Szlachta Privileges
UniqueTechImperialDEBohemians AoE2 Hussite Reforms · Poles AoE2 Lechitic Legacy
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBengalis AoE2 Paiks · Dravidians AoE2 Medical Corps · Gurjaras AoE2 Kshatriyas · Hindustanis AoE2 Grand Trunk Road
UniqueTechImperialDEBengalis AoE2 Mahayana · Dravidians AoE2 Wootz Steel · Gurjaras AoE2 Frontier Guards · Hindustanis AoE2 Shatagni
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DERomans AoE2 Ballistas
UniqueTechImperialDERomans AoE2 Comitatenses
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEArmenians AoE2 Cilician Fleet · Georgians AoE2 Svan Towers
UniqueTechImperialDEArmenians AoE2 Fereters · Georgians AoE2 Aznauri Cavalry
Removed technologies
UniqueTechCastle-DEPersians AoE2 Boiling Oil · Saracens AoE2 Camelry · Saracens AoE2 Madrasah · Mayans AoE2 Obsidian Arrows · Slavs AoE2 Orthodoxy · Koreans AoE2 Panokseon
UniqueTechImperialDEVikings AoE2 Berserkergang · Persians AoE2 Mahouts · Sicilians AoE2 Scutage · Saracens AoE2 Zealotry
Revised technologies
UniqueTechImperialDE Couriers · UniqueTechImperialDE Manipur Cavalry · UniqueTechImperialDE Paper Money · UniqueTechCastle-DE Royal Heirs