The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean: The Ancient World Economy and the Kingdoms of Africa, Arabia and India

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Pen and Sword, Sep 11, 2014 - History - 320 pages
The ancient evidence suggests that international commerce supplied Roman government with up to a third of the revenues that sustained their empire. In ancient times large fleets of Roman merchant ships set sail from Egypt on voyages across the Indian Ocean. They sailed from Roman ports on the Red Sea to distant kingdoms on the east coast of Africa and the seaboard off southern Arabia. Many continued their voyages across the ocean to trade with the rich kingdoms of ancient India. Freighters from the Roman Empire left with bullion and returned with cargo holds filled with valuable trade goods, including exotic African products, Arabian incense and eastern spices. This book examines Roman commerce with Indian kingdoms from the Indus region to the Tamil lands. It investigates contacts between the Roman Empire and powerful African kingdoms, including the Nilotic regime that ruled Meroe and the rising Axumite Realm. Further chapters explore Roman dealings with the Arab kingdoms of south Arabia, including the Saba-Himyarites and the Hadramaut Regime, which sent caravans along the incense trail to the ancient rock-carved city of Petra.The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean is the first book to bring these subjects together in a single comprehensive study that reveals Rome's impact on the ancient world and explains how international trade funded the Legions that maintained imperial rule. It offers a new international perspective on the Roman Empire and its legacy for modern society.

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User Review  - d.r.halliwell - LibraryThing

I had been reading a number of conventional popular histories of Rome, and I had been struck by the repeated references to Roman traders on the fringes of empire whose main function seems to be to get ... Read full review


The Nile Route and the African Kingdom of Meroe
The Red Sea Route
The Scale and Significance of Indian Ocean Trade
International Business
East Africa and the Aksumite Kingdom
Southern Arabia and the SabaHimyarites
Arabia Felix and the Hadramawt Kingdom
The IndoParthians

A Unique
Petra and the Nabataeans
The Saka and Satavahana Kingdoms
The TamilKingdoms of Southern India 15 The Anuradhapura Kingdom of Sri Lankaand theFar East 16 The Antun Embassy to China and the Anton...

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About the author (2014)

Raoul McLaughlin was educated at Lagan College, the first Integrated School in Northern Ireland. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at Queens University Belfast before completing a Masters degree and then a PhD in the study of trade beyond Romes eastern frontiers. He lives in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland.

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