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For example, the United States exports a large amount of wheat and corn to other countries, and in return they import machines and electronic devices.

Trade before the Romans

The dawn of the British industrial revolution also allowed Britain to use steamships to carry out trade. However, due to the use of coal to generate the steams for steam ships, Britain recognized that it needed coaling stations along its supply lines. So it built harbors in critical areas like Guinea and Cyprus where ships could refuel. Building such harbors paved the way for many similar infrastructure and supply line construction projects over the past few hundred years to generate strategic ports.

One of the most famous of these is Pearl Harbor, a critical U. Because the British Empire was spread all across the globe. Britain also laid metal cables across the oceans in order to promote communication.

Trade before the Romans

This revolutionized intercontinental communication. Prior to this, ships carrying letters were the only way for countries to communicate with each other across oceans.

How Roman trade with India made the Empire rich

Nowadays, intercontinental communication can be done easily with telephones and computers. But it was really the British submarine cables that began speedy communication across oceans.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Westfield State University, and graduated cum laude. Currently he is expanding his freelance writing career, and enjoying the opportunity to write on a variety of business topics. View all posts by Bennett O'Brien.

Ancient Rome and Trade

Email address:. What information would you like to receive? Trending topics:. The Roman Empire — 27 B. This is essentially where the concept of modern day pipelines was born. The Mongolian Empire — A. Archbishop John of Cilician Armenia, in a painting from His dress displays a Chinese dragon, an indication of the thriving exchanges with the Mongol Empire during the reign of Kublai Khan The Mongolian Empire controlled most of Asia, and parts of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The British Empire — A.

Which other empires do you think had significant impact on global trade? Following in the wake of marching soldiers, vast numbers of goods were carried along these roads. Transporting goods by land was slow and expensive, however, as large loads in wagons and carriages were pulled by lumbering oxen. Large, slow shipments were vulnerable to raids and adverse weather so faster horse drawn loads were used, but they could only deliver lighter cargos.

Caravans of camels or donkeys carried loaded baskets called panniers and some goods were hauled by slaves, providing cheap labor. Trade by land was only profitable if goods were going short distances or if the cargo was small, expensive luxury items. Most large-volume, cumbersome goods, such as food, precious metals, stones and building supplies, were shipped by water.

Numerous sea lanes provided cheap and easy access to all parts of the Mediterranean.

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The consolidation of the Roman navy under Augustus virtually wiped the threat of piracy out, but inclement weather, inaccurate charts and poor navigational equipment could still wreak havoc on a convoy. Still despite the dangers, there was no better way to move cargo than by ship. Romans thrived off of imported goods, and importers were among the wealthiest citizens of the Empire.

The trading of goods for goods barter system was alive and well in the ancient world, but the Romans also used one of the world's most developed coinage systems.

Rome trade culture

Coins of brass, bronze, copper, silver and gold in the Imperial system were minted and circulated under strict rules for weights, sizes, value and metal composition. The popularity and value of Roman coins became so great that they could be found as far east as India.


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Roman coins were greatly detailed and of high artisanship, and often were used as tools by the Emperors to circulate various forms of news and propaganda to the people and the world. In fact, numismatics the study of ancient coins , is among the greatest sources of historical facts, events and living conditions as it relates to the Romans.

The Romans – Trade

The empire cost a vast sum of money to run and trade brought in much of that money. The population of the city of Rome was one million and such a vast population required all manner of things brought back via trade. The Roman Empire was criss-crossed with trade routes. There were sea routes that covered the Mediterranean and Black Seas and numerous land routes using the roads built by the Romans.

Trade and moving the Roman Army around were the two principle reasons for building roads. The most important port was Ostia as it was the nearest major port to Rome itself. Ostia was situated at the mouth of the River Tiber and was only 15 miles from Rome. Many ships travelled between Ostia and the major North African city of Carthage, a journey that took between three and five days.

Ships also arrived from Spain and France at Ostia.