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Early Greek and Latin Sources on the Indian Ocean and Eastern Africa

Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)

Abstract

The early Greek and Latin sources for exploration and trade in the Indian Ocean are relatively few (especially concerning East Africa), and they have long been subject to intense study by classical philologists. Furthermore, in recent decades an already extensive bibliography has grown exponentially as a number of trends in classical scholarship, ancient history, and the social sciences more generally have converged on the Indian Ocean world. One might be excused for suspecting that at this point our ancient sources are unlikely to repay much additional scrutiny. On the other hand, new data for ancient trade between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean world continue to emerge, much of which is owed to scientific excavations at sites stretching from the Red Sea and Southern Arabia to India and Sri Lanka (see, for instance, Sidebotham 2011). Equally important is a wealth of new data owed to a wide array of approaches that range from anthropological and linguistic investigations to archaeobotanical, zooarchaeological, and genetic studies (see, for instance, the recent attempts at synthesis by Boivin et al. 2013; Ekblom et al. this volume). If continued scrutiny of our ancient textual sources is to prove fruitful, it will probably owe less to traditional tools of classical philology than to the interdisciplinary recontextualization made possible by the kind of work attested to in this volume.

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Lytle, E. (2016). Early Greek and Latin Sources on the Indian Ocean and Eastern Africa. In: Campbell, G. (eds) Early Exchange between Africa and the Wider Indian Ocean World . Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33822-4_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33822-4_5

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