Pausanias and Rome’s Eastern Trade

in Mnemosyne
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This article studies Pausanias’ description of Chinese silk production and Chinese geography within the context of Rome’s eastern trade. China was the last stop of land and sea routes connecting Rome and the Far East through Asia Minor, Egypt, Arabia, Persia and India. Although he never journeyed into the Far East, Pausanias provides vivid descriptions of these regions, their products and inhabitants, and the people involved in trade there. The article examines the sources he might have used to construct narratives about the Far East, China and Chinese silk and where such sources might have been made available to him.

Pausanias and Rome’s Eastern Trade

in Mnemosyne



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Habicht 19858-9; 13-25; Bowie 2001 24-25; Pretzler 2007 21-23.


André and Baslez 1993192-198; Casson 1994 115-127 and 163-218.


PolluxOnom. 7.76; Amm.Marc. 23.6.67; Eust. Comment. in Dion. Per. Orb. Descr. 752.


See Berggren and Jones 200023-30 and 150-152. On this overland route see Wheeler 1954 183-202; Charlesworth 19612 98-111; Warmington 19742 18-34; Raschke 1978 637-645 and 1978b; Ball 2000 402-403; Young 2001 169-180; Choisnel 2004 55-65 81-82 and 147-161; McLaughlin 2010 83-109 Sheldon 2010 186-211.


See Sidebotham 1986182-185 and Wiesehöfer 1998 10-36.


On this maritime route see Wheeler 1954141-182 and 203-207; Charlesworth 19612 16-73; Miller 1969 119-152; Warmington 19742 6-16 and 35-83; Raschke 1978 650-676; Ferguson 1978 585-591; Poinsotte 1979 443-452; Young 2001 24-80; Ball 2000 123-139; Parker 2002 61-72; Whittaker 2004 163-180; Choisnel 2004 100-103 122-125 and 129-143; Blue 2009 Liu 2010 19-41; McLaughlin 2010; Sidebotham 2011 175-194.


Isidorus: Chaumont 1984. The Σταθµοὶ Παρθικοί: Schoff 19762 and Belfiore 2004 245-266.


Maes Titianos: Cary 1956 and Bernard 2005.


See Casson 19897-10 and 31-34; Belfiori 2004 77-83; Marcotte 2013 13-16; Arnaud 2013 30-43. The pme: Casson 1989 and Belfiori 2004.

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