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.