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International Trade And Foreign Diplomacy In Early Medieval South India

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the interaction between the entrepot of the intermediate region, the domain of the south Indian Cola state, and international maritime trade during the tenth through the twelfth centuries A.D. Past research on the international trade of Asia has relied heavily upon the historical sources of China and the West, sources which suggest economic interaction but which are in general vague lists of geographical landmarks and ports encountered while on voyages, and has thus itself been vague in its treatment of international trade, the trade's organization, and the trade's relationship to the indigenous societies with which the trade came into contact. The chapter reexamines these foreign sources, to substantiate them through the examination of contemporary indigenous sources, and attempts a reconstruction of Asian maritime trade and its role within one sector of Asian society.

Keywords: Asian maritime trade; Asian society; economic interaction; foreign sources; international maritime trade; international trade; south Indian Cola state; trade organization



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