Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Long-Distance Trade
(4,408 words)

1.   Medieval

Even before the rise of Islam, Jewish merchants were involved in long-distance trade.Early sixth-century sources record that the Jewish king of Ḥimyar killed Byzantine traders who passed through his country on their way back from India. Jewish merchants in this period specialized in importing raw silk from Persia and India, and often manufactured clothing in Beirut and Tyre. Notwithstanding Pirenne’s 1937 thesis that the Islamic conquest led to the collapse of long-distance economic ties, chronicles and documentary evidence establish thatRādhānite merchants pl…

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Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman and Thomas Park, “Long-Distance Trade”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 05 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0013950>
First published online: 2010

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