How Maritime Trade and the Indian Subcontinent Shaped the World

Ice Age to Mid-Eighth Century

Nick Collins

Date Published :
November 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
40 black and white illustrations & maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526786623

Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-OrderPages : 320


World-wide maritime trade has been the essential driver of wealth-creation, economic progress and global human contact. Trade and exchange of ideas have been at the heart of economic, social, political, cultural and religious life and maritime international law. These claims are borne out by the history of maritime trade beginning in the Indian Ocean and connecting to Southeast Asia, Japan, the Americas, East Africa, the Middle East especially the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean and Europe. This development predates the end of the Ice Age with worldwide flooding and stimulated the establishment of land-based civilizations in the above regions with particular effect on the Greek and Roman empires and even China's 'Celestial' empire.

The Indian subcontinent was the original major player in maritime trade, linking oceans and regions. Global maritime trade declined with the fall of Mediterranean empires and the 'dark age' in Europe but revived with Indian Ocean and Asian maritime networks. Shipping and trade studies are hugely practical but can be technical, legalistic and even dull for non-specialists. But this history is a broadly based and exciting account of human interaction at multiple levels, for general readers, specialists and practitioners. It is based on huge reading and rare sources and with an attractive writing style, and full of fascinating sidelights illuminating the historical narrative - and from an author with lifelong experience in international shipping.

About The Author

Nick Collins read history at Magdalene College Cambridge, was pressed to continue academic research and writing but chose to go into maritime trade with H Clarkson& Co, now Clarkson-Plateau, the largest company in the field with world-wide connections. He was director of of the main company and of subsidiary companies in Asia including the Far East and India, Dubai and the USA. So he has done business with many of the countries in the regions featured in the book and brings practical hands-on experience to academic research to produce a unique work.


1. Philosophy and Themes
2. The End of the Ice Age and the Shaping of the World
3. The Third Millennium BC and Trade Networks
4. Maritime Trade in the Mediterranean and European Bronze Age
5. Eastern Mediterranean Breakdown
6. Maritime Breakouts from the Eastern Mediterranean, Phoenicians, Greeks and Etruscans
7. Clash of the Titans
8. Roman Empire to Han Empire, tentative Globalisation
9. Decline, Fall and the Making of Dark Age Europe
10. New Foundations of Indian Ocean and Asian Maritime Trade Networks
Epilogue, Continuity and Change

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