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Trade Routes 600-1450 CE

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Liz Thomas

on 27 September 2017

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Transcript of Trade Routes 600-1450 CE

Trade Routes 600-1450 CE
Global Connections
Eventually, powerful cities developed in Western Europe, but not until the 1300s
Venice, Florence
Rich merchants begin building up lots of power and resources
Cities begin to demand luxury goods from Asia and Africa

Why did trade flourish?
Big Developments:
1. Improved Technology
2. New trade cities
3. Luxury Good Demand
4. Expansion of Empires
All areas of Asia, Africa, and Europe become connected via trade.
Four Major Trade Routes
1. Mediterranean
2. Silk Road (Asia)
3. Indian Ocean
4. Trans-Saharan
Roman Empire splits in two
East half (Byzantine ) does pretty well
West - totally falls apart
Kind of in disarray for a long time
Byzantium becomes Constantinople in 330 CE, named after the Christian emperor Constantine.
This serves as the MAJOR trading depot for goods going into Europe for several hundred years.
It sits on an important area - the bridge between Asia and Europe in modern day Turkey
So what was traded?
precious stones
Gold coins
wool/linen textiles
olive oil
What promoted trade along the Silk Road?
Development of Trade Caravans
Expansion of Important Trade Centers
Spread of religion
Expansion of Existing Empires
Islamic Caliphates
Tang China
Trade in Luxury Goods
The silk road was
incredibly important.
Overland trade routes linked China to Roman empire
Sea lanes joined Asia, Africa, and Mediterranean basin into one network
Goods + Ideas + Disease
So what was traded?
silk, jade, minerals, technology, rice, pearls, tea
From India: herbs, spices, cotton, dyes
From Persia: carpets, muslin, horses
From Europe: wine, grapes, glass
Probably most important trade network
Monsoon changes were crucial:
Nov-Feb blew to SW
April-Sept blew to NE
Key was regularity
Sea transport is cheaper
So more bulk goods: textiles, pepper, timber, rice, sugar, wheat
Trade was between towns and cities, not states

What was traded from where?

What Promoted the Expansion
of the Indian Ocean Trade?
Improved knowledge of Ocean Currents & Seasonal Monsoons
Indian Ocean Currents
• used coastal currents to avoid being blown off course
• allowed traders to expand sea travel
Indian Ocean Monsoons
• Early traders were at the mercy of the dominant monsoon winds for travel
• Knowledge of Seasonal Monsoon patterns allowed traders to establish new routes
Development of the Compass, Astrolabe & Better Ship Building
Primary Trade Goods from the Swahili City-States (Eastern Africa)
• Gold
• Ivory
• Sandlewood
• Copper
• Slaves
Primary Trade Goods from India
• Cotton
• Dye (Indigo)
• Tea
• Spices & Herbs
Primary Trade Goods from Arabia & Persia
• Wool
• Muslin fabric
• Wheat & Barley
• Frankensence & Myrrh
Spread of Ideas
Indian merchants brought Brahmin priests
Muslim scholars brought by Arab merchants
Christian merchants brought priests

Swahili: mix of Arabic, Indian, and Bantu (African)

This route tended to be safer than Mediterranean Trade because there was less warfare
Sailors often married the local women at the ends of their trade routes, so cultures spread and intermixed rapidly
Centers of Jewish, Persian, Islamic, and African culture

What Promoted Expansion of the Trans-Saharan Trade?
• Trans-Sahara
Camel Caravans
• Spread of Islamd by Arab-Berber Traders
• Growth of Mali, Songhai and Ghana kingdoms in Western Africa
• Important Trade Centers (Ex. Timbuktu)
• Inter-Regional Trade of Luxury Goods between Africans and Arabs
Empire of Mali
(1230 – 1530 CE)
• Wealth originally due to growing beans,
rice and eventually cotton
• Expanded to control Trans-Saharan Trade
• Mansa Musa adopted Islam as religion of
the Empire
• Established Mosques,
Libraries & Schools
Kingdom of Ghana
(500 – 1078 CE)
• Major Sudanic Trading State by 700 CE

• Declined due to internal fighting
• First to link Trans-Saharan Caravan Trade
Empire of Songhai
Seceded from the Mali Empire (in 1375)
largest of the western Sudan empires
centralized administration, created a tax system & regulated trade
Timbuktu and D'Jenne important cities

Thousands of scholars lived and studied in Timbuktu
University was founded in Timbuktu

Copper, horses, textiles (silk, cotton), figs, iron, beads, ceramics, weapons,
salt, gold, honey, coffee, slaves, ivory, animal skins, ebony, leather, camels, wheat/barley, ISLAM
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