6.4.5 The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea


A periplus was a book/scroll written for sailors and merchants in the Hellenistic world. The writer wrote down sailing directions, the names of ports and the products a merchant could buy in those places, along with information about the states and people. This one was written in Alexandria, Egypt, between 1 and 100 CE. It describes travel from the Egypt down the Red Sea, to the east coast of Africa, up to the Persian Gulf and across to India. The first excerpt describes the port of Adulis, in the kingdom of Axum in east Africa, and the second describes Barygaza and other ports on the northwest coast of India (South Asia.)

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