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From India to the Black Sea : an overlooked trade route?

Abstract : Some Hellenistic sources and Pliny the Elder briefly describe a trade route linking the Pontic area and India. Eastern commodities were carried by various middlemen using both land and river routes. The Caspian Sea was even crossed. This existence of this itinerary, which is documented by too few texts and very little archaeological remains, has been called into question by some scholars. On the basis of several literary sources so far overlooked, I argue that the "northern road" played a continuous role in the so-called Indo-Mediterranean trade, along with the better known Indian Ocean routes. Was the Black Sea the ending point of a trade route from Central Asia? P. Lévêque's afterword of the proceedings of a conference held at Vani (Georgia) in 1999, entitled " La genèse de la route de la soie " , left no doubt about his opinion 1 ; yet the road linking the Pontic area to Central Asia and India is tremendously elusive, being documented by a few classical texts, much debated, and scanty archaeological remains. Such poor evidence led some scholars to call into question the very existence of the " northern route ". However, several so far neglected classical texts help support the opposite opinion, as this paper aims to show.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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Contributor : Pierre Schneider Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 3:49:07 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 9:19:56 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 12:41:59 PM


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Pierre Schneider. From India to the Black Sea : an overlooked trade route?. 2017. ⟨hal-01376630v2⟩



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