By Federico De Romanis, Marco Maiuro
Across the Ocean includes 9 essays, each one devoted to a key query within the historical past of the exchange kin among the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean from Antiquity to the Early sleek interval: the function of the nation within the pink Sea alternate, Roman coverage within the pink Sea, the functionality of Trajan s Canal, the pepper alternate, the pearl exchange, the Nabataean middlemen, using gold in historical India, the consistent renewal of the Indian Ocean ports of alternate, and the increase and loss of life of the VOC."
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Extra info for Across the Ocean: Nine Essays on Indo-Mediterranean Trade
Cooper 2009, 204–5, who cites counter-evidence to the effect that the canal was closed earlier (December). ’ 20 It is not certain that seagoing ships rather than flat-bottomed boats were used in the Red Sea, as Nappo (in this volume, ad nn. Petr. 279, Myos Hormos, 52 ce) for liburnae in the context of the Roman Red Sea fleet. The evidence for big ships involved in the pepper trade from India in the first-third centuries ce is collected by De Romanis (in this volume, ad nn. 35; and a graffito from Alagankulam/Tamil Nadu discussed by Tchernia 2011a).
37 Duncan-Jones 2006, 4. 8: ‘And for governmental purposes there would be no advantage in knowing such countries and their inhabitants, and particularly if the people live in islands which are of such a nature that they can neither injure nor benefit us in any way because of their isolation. For although they could have held even Britain, the Romans scorned to do so, because they saw that there was nothing at all to fear from the Britons (for they are not strong enough to cross over and attack us), and that no corresponding advantage was to be gained by taking and holding their country.
An ancillary argument could be adduced: Trajan’s Canal would have had a negative ecological impact, had it been open to navigation throughout. Strong Red Sea tides would have brought salted seawater and possibly sea species into the Wadi Tumilat, at least for that part of the year when the flood was receding, which Aristotle seems to have been well aware of. One could object that sluice gates built by Ptolemy Philadelphus (according to Diodorus Siculus and Strabo) may have prevented such contamination, but they were unlikely to have been 100 per cent efficient.