HIST/SIS 225-Lecture Outline
Rome's Relations with the East

I. Rome and China: Was there direct contact?

A. Myths of embassies and lost legions.
B. Chinese sources on Roman Syria.
C. Western knowledge of the East.
D. Indirect exchanges of goods: the complaints of Roman moralists.

II. The Middle East prior to Islam.

A. Imperial Rome & Byzantium in the East.
B. Parthians.
C. Nabataeans/Petra.
D. Sassanians: Shapur defeats Roman Emperor Valerian in 260 CE.

III. Trade routes and cities.

A. The land routes.
B. Discovery of the monsoon winds: the Indian Ocean trade described in the Periplus of the Erythraean (Red) Sea.
C. Palmyra--an oasis metropolis on the border between the Roman Empire and its eastern neighbors (video)