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

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Pen and Sword, Sep 11, 2014 - History - 320 pages
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This study of ancient Roman shipping and trade across continents reveals the Roman Empire’s far-reaching impact in the ancient world.
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 southern Arabia. Many continued their voyages across the ocean to trade with the rich kingdoms of ancient India. Along these routes, the Roman Empire traded bullion for valuable 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 southern 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 first book to bring these subjects together in a single comprehensive study, The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean reveals Rome’s impact on the ancient world and explains how international trade funded the legions that maintained imperial rule.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - deusvitae - LibraryThing

A thorough analysis of Roman trade with Africa, Arabia, and India, illuminating a very important dimension of the economic vitality of the early Roman Empire. The book begins roughly: it starts with ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

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 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
The Saka and Satavahana Kingdoms
The Tamil Kingdoms of Southern India

A Unique
Petra and the Nabataeans
The Nile Route and the African Kingdom of Meroe
The Red Sea Route
The Anuradhapura Kingdom of Sri Lanka and the Far East
The Antun Embassy to China and the Antonine Pandemic

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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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