Title: Graeco-Roman Merchants in the Indian Ocean: Revealing a Multicultural Trade
Authors: Fauconnier, Bram # ×
Issue Date: 2012
Series Title: Topoi Orient Occident vol:Supplement 11 pages:75-109
Abstract: This paper is a critical review of hypotheses concerning the presence of Greco-Roman traders in the Indian Ocean in the first two centuries A.D., based on an analysis of primary sources. Opinions about this subject are broadly divided in two camps. Whereas the first one stresses the dominant role of Western merchants in the Indian Ocean trade (see e.g. Raschke), the second one minimizes their impact, sometimes even denying that Mediterranean ships were able to sail to India (see e.g. Ball and Ray). In this paper, I argue that both approaches are in fact problematic, since neither of them is sufficiently supported by the primary sources. Hence, I propose a more cautionary approach. My arguments are based on an in-depth analysis of archaeological, epigraphical, papyrological and particularly literary sources, focusing on (a) the use of Graeco-Roman ships in the Indian Ocean and (b) the presence of Greco-Roman traders in India. Summing up, I show that it is wrong to perceive the Indo-Roman trade in terms of dominance. The sources show us a different picture: that of a dynamic, multicultural trade in which Romans, Arabs, Indians and Persians exchanged ideas and to a certain extent intermingled.
ISSN: 1161-9473
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ancient History, Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:
File Description Status SizeFormat
Fauconnier_TopoiSuppl11_PeĢriple.pdfGraeco-Roman Merchants in the Indian Ocean Published 1251KbAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

These files are only available to some KU Leuven Association staff members


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.