Maritime Trade and State Development in Early Southeast Asia

by Kenneth R. Hall

Language : English

1985 - UHP Open Access - 483 pages - E-book University of Hawai'i Press

ISBN: 9780824882082

Starting from the Roman Empire era, when Arab merchants were dominant in the regional trade, the author takes us to a fascinating journey through times.

How Indian traders got gradually evinced by Javanese merchants, especially in the spice trade with the emergence of products coming from Borneo and the Spice Islands, how Malay sailors played a major role in the regional exchanges, and how the Khmer Empire viewed the local power shift with the rising intercontinental trade: here are some of the many avenues this reference study opens to researchers.

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ADB Input: In his paper on the Tin Route connecting Southeast Asia with the Middle East, Srini Kalyanaraman, a specialist in Sarasvati civilization, notes: "A gold medallion of Marcus Aurelius' predecessor Antoninus Pius dated 152 CE has been unearthed at Oc Eo, the main port of Funan in southern Vietnam[-Cambodia], which flourished between the 1st and 6th centuries - especially after strife disrupted caravans across central Asia in the 2nd-3rd centuries. The alternative land-sea route involved maritime sections from the Middle East to northwest India, across the Bay of Bengal to the Isthmus of Kra, across the Gulf of Thailand to Funan, and from Funan to China. Other 2nd-3rd finds at Oc Eo include Roman coins, Indian seals, and jewellery. At around the same time, a commercial centre developed at Ko-ying in the Sunda Straits; Malay seamen brought spices and forest products to Funan."

About the Author

Kenneth R. Hall

A professor of history at Ball State University, Kenneth R. Hall is a specialist in pre-1500 South and Southeast Asian history and culture, comparative urbanization and wider Indian Ocean maritime networking.

Among his numerous publications, these are particulary interesting for Angkorean researchers and lovers: A History of Early Southeast Asia: Maritime Trade and Societal Development c. 100-1500 (2011); “Champa Ports-of-Trade Networking on the Coastline c. 300-1500 CE” (Bangkok); “Regional Identities, Maritime Networking and Islamic Conversions in Fifteenth-Century Java“ (London);“Revisionist Study of Mainland South-East Asia’s Maritime Connections, c.100-1500” (Delhi); “South Asia: 8th Century India Transitions” (Leeds); “Contested Histories of Ming Agency in the Java Sea, Straits of Melaka, and Bay of Bengal Region” (New York); “Knowledge Transfers in 14th and 15th Century Java” (Singapore), and “Ayutthaya’s Seventeenth-Century Deerskin Trade in the Extended Eastern Indian Ocean and South China Sea” (New York/Leeds).

He is on the advisory board of The Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar/Professor of comparative religion at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia (2003–2004) and Southeast Asian studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (2012).