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The indian Ocean History of Global Trading in Pearls and Silk and its Impact on Cultures - Essay Example

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The Indian Ocean History of Global Trading in Pearls and Silk and its Impact on Cultures Introduction Trade through the Indian Ocean has been going on since the first century c.e. First of all, the Roman Empire succeeded in reaching to the Indian Ocean trade network with its victory over Egypt…
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Download file to see previous pages This realization becomes evident through the analysis of global interdependence between countries for commodities in trend during the early Roman kingdom of the first century c.e. It is very exiting to know that trade through the Indian Ocean was in full swing even in ancient times when there were no ships and other secure means of transportation of goods through the sea-channels. It was the monsoon system that made navigation easy from one part of the world to another through sea route. The Arab and Indian mariners had full knowledge of the flow of monsoon winds, helping the sailing of boats carrying goods for shipping in the Indian Ocean. Later, this knowledge got transferred to mariners from Ptolemaic Egypt. Winds in winter time blow from the northeast uninterruptedly and in summer they come from the southwest. This awareness of the monsoon cycle helped sailors to roam about everywhere across the Indian Ocean (The Formation of Classical Societies 159). Global trade was on the high at the finish of the first century B.C. among the five close rulers of that time: the Roman kingdom, the Parthian kingdom, the Kushan kingdom, the nomadic alliance of Xiongnu, and the Han Kingdom. Global trading routes were created from the Greco-Roman city of Antioch, passing through the Syrian Desert through Palmyra to Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital city, finally reaching Seleucia, situated on the Tigris River, as one can see from the map below (Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art par. 1). Eastern side of the old world reachable to travelers in the first century A.D. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hg/hg_d_trade_d2map.gif The most critical port situated on the Persian Gulf, becoming a medium of distribution of commodities, was the port of Spasinu Charax, as shown in the map above (on the left of the Parthian Empire). The whole of Parthian kingdom, starting from the Tigris to Ctesiphon to Euphrates to Dura-Europos, and also covering the connected cities of the Arabian and Syrian Desert were supplied the goods shipped via the oceanic route. A number of land passages also got stationed at ports situated on the eastern Mediterranean, as from here the goods used to be supplied to adjacent cities (Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art par. 2). The Roman maritime trade routes with the East via Red Sea got dense, initiating commercial growth but from the culture point of view, trade in eastern commodities was seen in the kind of a fiscal crisis and moral risk. Financially, the trade with India was causing huge deficit to the Roman economy in the first century c.e. Commodities trade of the Roman Empire with India was seen more risky for creating ethical meaning of going against the philosophy of stoicism than treading on an economic danger zone. The cause behind this ethical consideration was that Romans considered fashion-related commodities such as silk and precious gem stones to be more objectionable to their philosophy of stoicism than pepper, as use of luxury commodities indicated the human degeneration that Roman stoicism wanted to maintain distance with (Fitzpatrick 31). As the two commodities discussed include pears and silk, it would be pertinent to know how they were harvested and produced in the ancient times. There has been a history behind the finding of pearls and using them as an item of beauty enhancing jewelry. The Gulf of Mannar is understood to be one of the areas where pearls used to be harvested ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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