Provincializing Rome: The Indian Ocean Trade Network and Roman Imperialism

  • Fitzpatrick M
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In conquering Egypt, the Roman Empire secured direct access to the centuries-old Indian Ocean trade network that in Roman times brought together China, India, Southeast Asia, Parthia, Arabia, and Africa as well as the Roman Mediterranean. Far from being a product of Schumpeterian objectless expansion, Rome's conquest of Egypt fit into a broader strategic logic that sought to extend Roman control over eastern entrepôts. Despite its centrality to the Mediterranean wing of the world economy and its ability to extract surplus from its own provinces, the hub of this global economy remained India, whose linchpin emporia were able to extract surplus from the Roman Empire.

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  • Matthew P. Fitzpatrick

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