A Guidebook to the World of Indian Ocean Commerce: The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, First Century C.E.The earliest documentary reference to Axum was composed during the first centuryC.E. in an anonymous text known asThe Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Likely written by a sea captain from Roman-controlled Egypt, thePeriplus offers a guide to the places and conditions that merchants might encounter as they traversed the Red Sea and the East African coast while on their way to India.
- According to this text, why is the Axumite port of Adulis significant?
- What evidence does the Periplus provide about Axum’s cultural and economic ties to the larger world?
- Based on the list of imports and exports, how would you describe Axum’s role in the international commerce of the first century C.E.?
- How might Axum’s participation in long-distance trade have stimulated and sustained its growth as an empire?