Reconsidering the role of gemstones in the so-called Indo-Roman trade

Cobb, Matthew (2023) Reconsidering the role of gemstones in the so-called Indo-Roman trade. In: Proceedings of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences. ROAS. (In Press)

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With a shift away from more traditional narratives about the outflow of gold and silver from the Roman Empire in exchange for “luxuries” from the East, more scholarly attention has been given to the cultural (as well as economic) significance of this trade. This includes a focus on the ways in which these goods became embedded into various social and religious practices. Potentially this analytical shift has privileged the study of commodities like spices over items like gemstones since the former were often cheaper and more feasible for a wider spectrum of the population to acquire. As such, this paper examines where gemstones sit within these new frameworks for analysing the so-called Indo-Roman trade. Should they be considered peripheral to the trade or did their high value and low bulk mean that their economic significance more than compensated for their modest (in physical terms) volume of import?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: gemstones, Egypt, Roman Empire, India
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Matthew Cobb
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2023 16:08
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 16:08

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