Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Hardback California World History Library

By (author) Steven E. Sidebotham

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 456 pages
  • Dimensions: 178mm x 257mm x 36mm | 975g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520244303
  • ISBN 13: 9780520244306
  • Illustrations note: 47 b/w photographs, 12 maps
  • Sales rank: 1,295,306

Product description

The legendary overland silk road was not the only way to reach Asia for ancient travelers from the Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire's heyday, equally important maritime routes reached from the Egyptian Red Sea across the Indian Ocean. The ancient city of Berenike, located approximately 500 miles south of today's Suez Canal, was a significant port among these conduits. In this book, Steven E. Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the role the city played in the regional, local, and 'global' economies during the eight centuries of its existence. Sidebotham analyzes many of the artifacts, botanical and faunal remains, and hundreds of the texts he and his team found in excavations, providing a profoundly intimate glimpse of the people who lived, worked, and died in this emporium between the classical Mediterranean world and Asia.

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Author information

Steven E. Sidebotham is Professor of History at the University of Delaware and author of Roman Economic Policy in the Erythra Thalassa, 30 BC AD 21.

Review quote

"This highly readable, indeed exciting, book explores numerous aspects of ancient Berenike." American Journal Of Archaeology 20120716 "A remarkably detailed picture of the Egyptian business world along the Red Sea and Indian coast... Many historians will be grateful." -- Wim Broekaert Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR) 20110705 "[A] fascinating story." Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 20111001 "The detail of data is remarkable, and one is left with excellent understanding of life in this remote city." -- Duane W. Roller American Journal Of Archaeology 20120401 "Sidebotham tells the fascinating story of how this isolated harbour site owed its existence to long-range commerce." -- David Mattingly Times Higher Education 20111028

Table of contents

List of Figures Preface and Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations 1. Introduction 2. Geography, Climate, Ancient Authors, and Modern Visitors 3. Pre-Roman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert 4. Ptolemaic Diplomatic-Military-Commercial Activities 5. Ptolemaic and Early Roman Berenike and Environs 6. Inhabitants of Berenike in Roman Times 7. Water in the Desert and the Ports 8. Nile Red Sea Roads 9. Other Emporia 10. Merchant Ships 11. Commercial Networks and Trade Costs 12. Trade in Roman Berenike 13. Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise Notes Bibliography Index