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Abramelin

Ancient Maritime Sea Route: Egypt-India-China

59 posts in this topic

I thought it was an interesting coincidence that the Chinese started building these pyramids during the period they may have been (indirectly?) in contact with the Egyptians, maybe during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

It's possible that while the Egpytians were expert stonemasons, the Chinese preferred/were better skilled in clay/pounded Earth so built their pyramids that way based on an Egyptian design.

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Posted (edited)

Great thread Abe. Im impressed. I thought you are square sceptic.

I haven't started this thread with something totally weird like 'aliens' or 'Atlantis' or 'Lemuria' to explain things.

I hit upon that site when I was looking for something about the Voynich Manuscript, and then started clicking around on that site to discover a whole section about ancient maritime trade routes between Egypt and China - S/W Asia.

Even though there may not have been direct contact, I believe there was contact but using many stations inbetween.

The Egyptians may never have heard of the Chinese and visa versa, but ideas and items may have travelled from one country to the other.

Btw, great photo's, Melo!

The Chinese idea of constructing a pyramid may have originated in Egypt, but not by direct observation. Someone (an Arab?) made a drawing, then gave it to an Indian, who then gave it to a Chinaman. I can perfectly imagine that some Arab merchant was very much impressed with what he saw in Egypt and that by him the idea of pyramids spread along to sea route all the way to China.

Like I said: those Chinese pyramids were constructed during the time these contacts started to develop. They also look much more like Egyptian pyramids than any other type of pyramid (except for the platform at the top).

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

Funny no one looked at this map...

post-18246-0-07753700-1333703101_thumb.j

...and said, "Hey, if they (Chinese, Indians) had travelled a bit more south, they could have discovered Australia 2000 years ago!"

:P

Just kidding, no one grow an ulcer, ok?

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

There sure was something going on during that time period on the Indian Ocean:

Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred from 350 BCE and 550 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo who were later joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madagascar

Indian_Ocean_Current.jpg

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

I of course cannot outright dismiss the possibility of some Chinese silk in Egypt at that time. How it might have got there is the question, but we shouldn't assume it marked some form of trade between Egypt and China. As it is, the time period mentioned (1070 BCE) marks a sharp decline in pharaonic Egypt as the New Kingdom was collapsing and Libyan domination was beginning. The Egyptians weren't likely to have been doing much of anything aside from trying to hold it together. Anyway, aside from my penchant for tedious rambling, if a sample of silk in Egypt does date to the end of the eleventh century BCE, it must've ended up there via an exceedingly circuitous and indirect route. I am not aware of this sample of silk and cannot comment on it authoritatively.

The Persians definitely had much to do with the Silk Road, at least where it encroached their sphere of influence (which was considerable, of course). It would've been in their interests to protect and foster the Silk Road. I cannot think of any instance in which the Egyptians did, however. In those periods when Egypt controlled the Levant, well before the Persians rose to empire status, Egyptians certainly would've guarded and perhaps even garrisoned important trade routes coming west from Mesopotamia, but we shouldn't mistake that for the Silk Road.

Well Kmt, I have said several times I believe any contact between Egypt and China must have been very INdirect. One may not have known of the other, but ideas and items could have arrived from one country into the other country through many stations along the way.

And I dare to say that the Phoenicians may have started this long before the period in the opening post. Traders are traders, now and always. Many will have gone to great lengths to make a profit.

Travelling by sea (coast hopping) is a lot easier and faster than travelling over mountains and through deserts.

When you look at this chart of sea currents in the Indian Ocean...

Indian_Ocean_Current.jpg

... then it is very possible the Phoenians traded with people from the Indus Civilization, who in their turn traded with people from SE Asia who in their turn traded with ancient China.

Not that there is any direct proof as far as I know (maybe The_Spartan has a thing or two to say about that), but it sure must have been possible.

+++

EDIT:

Concerning the Indus Civilization, I found this site:

Myths, Hypotheses and Facts Concerning the Origin of Peoples

The Indus Valley History Chronology

(Until the 11th Century C.E.)

http://www.imninalu.net/IndusValley.htm

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Well Kmt, I have said several times I believe any contact between Egypt and China must have been very INdirect. One may not have known of the other, but ideas and items could have arrived from one country into the other country through many stations along the way.

And I dare to say that the Phoenicians may have started this long before the period in the opening post. Traders are traders, now and always. Many will have gone to great lengths to make a profit.

Travelling by sea (coast hopping) is a lot easier and faster than travelling over mountains and through deserts.

When you look at this chart of sea currents in the Indian Ocean...

Indian_Ocean_Current.jpg

... then it is very possible the Phoenians traded with people from the Indus Civilization, who in their turn traded with people from SE Asia who in their turn traded with ancient China.

Not that there is any direct proof as far as I know (maybe The_Spartan has a thing or two to say about that), but it sure must have been possible.

+++

EDIT:

Concerning the Indus Civilization, I found this site:

Myths, Hypotheses and Facts Concerning the Origin of Peoples

The Indus Valley History Chronology

(Until the 11th Century C.E.)

http://www.imninalu.net/IndusValley.htm

.

That looks like a good website, Abe. I'm going to read it when I get home and have more time. Thanks for posting it. ;)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romano-Chinese_relations

The first one on record, supposedly from either the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius or the later emperor Marcus Aurelius, arrived in 166.[4][5] The Hou Hanshu records the arrival of Roman envoys, by sea to Chinese territory in what is now North Vietnam in 166 CE, presumably from either the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius or the later emperor Marcus Aurelius. The text specifically states that it was the first time there had been direct contact between the two countries.[6]

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Even though there may not have been direct contact, I believe there was contact but using many stations inbetween.

The Egyptians may never have heard of the Chinese and visa versa, but ideas and items may have travelled from one country to the other.

Btw, great photo's, Melo!

Thanks. Chinese was in direct contact with Rome. Egypt was in Rome. Im sure there was some Egyptians in legions too.

Also Im sure they met in Parthia...silk road...

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Gan Ying left an account on the Roman Empire (Daqin in Chinese) which relied on secondary sources - likely sailors in the ports which he visited. It is, apparently, this report from Gan Ying which formed the basis for the account of Da Qin in the Hou Hanshu, which locates it in Haixi (lit. "west of the sea" = Egypt, which was then under Roman control. The sea is the one known to the Greeks and Romans as the Erythraean Sea which included the Persian Gulf together with the Arabian Sea and Red Sea):

"Its territory extends for several thousands of li [a li during the Han equaled 415.8 metres],[24] They have established postal relays at intervals, which are all plastered and whitewashed. There are pines and cypresses, as well as trees and plants of all kinds. It has more than four hundred walled towns. There are several tens of smaller dependent kingdoms. The walls of the towns are made of stone."

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Gan Ying left an account on the Roman Empire (Daqin in Chinese) which relied on secondary sources - likely sailors in the ports which he visited. It is, apparently, this report from Gan Ying which formed the basis for the account of Da Qin in the Hou Hanshu, which locates it in Haixi (lit. "west of the sea" = Egypt, which was then under Roman control. The sea is the one known to the Greeks and Romans as the Erythraean Sea which included the Persian Gulf together with the Arabian Sea and Red Sea):

"Its territory extends for several thousands of li [a li during the Han equaled 415.8 metres],[24] They have established postal relays at intervals, which are all plastered and whitewashed. There are pines and cypresses, as well as trees and plants of all kinds. It has more than four hundred walled towns. There are several tens of smaller dependent kingdoms. The walls of the towns are made of stone."

This quote from that Wiki page contradicts what you said in the post before. The Chinese were not in direct contact with the Romans.

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Posted (edited)

This quote from that Wiki page contradicts what you said in the post before. The Chinese were not in direct contact with the Romans.

No it doesnt. It is just one written account where Chinese heard about Roman Egypt.

Haixi (lit. "west of the sea" = Egypt, which was then under Roman control.)

Did you see post about Roman envoy?

Edited by Melo

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Posted (edited)

No it doesnt. It is just one written account where Chinese heard about Roman Egypt.

Haixi (lit. "west of the sea" = Egypt, which was then under Roman control.)

Did you see post about Roman envoy?

Yes, that's it: they HEARD about it.

But from what I read here and there, there has never been any direct contact between the Chinese and the Romans.

Daqin (Chinese: 大秦; pinyin: Dàqín alternative transliterations include Tachin, Tai-Ch'in) is the ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empire or, depending on context, the Near East, especially Syria.

China never managed to reach the Roman Empire directly in antiquity, although general Ban Chao sent Gan Ying as an envoy to "Daqin" in 97 AD. Gan Ying did not reach Daqin, he stopped at the coast of a large sea, because "sailor(s) of the Parthian west border" told him that the voyage to cross the sea might take a long time and be dangerous. Gan Ying left a detailed account of the Roman Empire, but it is generally considered to have been based on second hand information.

In later eras, starting in 550 CE, as Syriac Christians settled along the Silk Road and founded mission churches, Daqin or Tai-Ch'in is also used to refer to these Christian populations rather than to Rome or the Roman church.

To the Chinese, the capital of Daqin was "An-tu", or Antioch, the first great Christian city.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Qin

In classical sources, the problem of identifying references to ancient China is exacerbated by the interpretation of the Latin term "Seres" whose meaning fluctuated and could refer to a number of Asian people in a wide arc from India over Central Asia to China.[9] In Chinese records, the Roman Empire came to be known as "Da Qin", Great Qin, apparently thought to be a sort of counter-China at the other end of the world.[10] According to Pulleyblank, the "point that needs to be stressed is that the Chinese conception of Da Qin was confused from the outset with ancient mythological notions about the far west".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Roman_relations

But whatever did or not not happen along the onland Silk Road, what about the maritime contacts?

That is what this thread was originally about.

I stated that maritime contact would have been a lot more easier and faster than contacts established by travelling overland, crossing mountains and deserts. And let's not forget about hostile tribes. People looking like the Chinese in their silk clothing and carriages with merchandize would have looked like rich people, ready for a picking.

+++

EDIT:

And I didn't read about any direct Chinese reference to Egypt.

It's nothing but how you want to interpret what the Chinese reported.

.

Edited by Abramelin

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Posted (edited)

All I know about martime contacts with China is post 33.

Edited by Melo

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People looking like the Chinese in their silk clothing and carriages with merchandize would have looked like rich people, ready for a picking.

Highly doubt. Look at those innocent chinese girls. :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY7Kg6BlNec

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Posted (edited)

Highly doubt. Look at those innocent chinese girls. :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY7Kg6BlNec

They may have known how to defend themselves, but do not believe the crap that movies try to make you believe, ok?

I have done all that, and even if you practise Wushu like a master, you will be defeated by a 100 hooligans trying to smash your head in to get your money.

.

Edited by Abramelin

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They may have known how to defend themselves, but do not believe the crap that movies try to make you believe, ok?

I have done all that, and even if you practise Wushu like a master, you will be defeated by a 100 hooligans trying to smash your head in to get your money.

.

Abe that was a joke. Personally I didnt practice any Chinese martial art. :hmm: I trained Jiu jitsu and Muay Thai. I know all what you trying to tell me. But I doubt that caravans were unprottected. Only problems are Mongols and Tibet but that is much later. On one part you have Han on other Sogdianas. Camel horses and donkey were well protectet. I think Sogdians founded Samarkand, not sure. Because of silk road budhism was spread. It would be interesting to see map of Budhism influence in 1AD or 200 AD. Anyway I was trying to expand debate and ask some questions which I found interesting about Chinese mysteries.

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Expand debate on maritime contacts.

Now that would be great.

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They may have known how to defend themselves, but do not believe the crap that movies try to make you believe, ok?

I have done all that, and even if you practise Wushu like a master, you will be defeated by a 100 hooligans trying to smash your head in to get your money.

.

Or by one hooligan with a Glock. :devil:

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Or by one hooligan with a Glock. :devil:

No need for a Glock... punks can be taken out with any peashooter :innocent:

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Posted (edited)

Abe that was a joke. Personally I didnt practice any Chinese martial art. :hmm: I trained Jiu jitsu and Muay Thai. I know all what you trying to tell me. But I doubt that caravans were unprottected. Only problems are Mongols and Tibet but that is much later. On one part you have Han on other Sogdianas. Camel horses and donkey were well protectet. I think Sogdians founded Samarkand, not sure. Because of silk road budhism was spread. It would be interesting to see map of Budhism influence in 1AD or 200 AD. Anyway I was trying to expand debate and ask some questions which I found interesting about Chinese mysteries.

I recall reading, in fact, that Sogdian bandits (as well as others) were a nasty threat to travelers in Central Asia. The Achaemenid Persians maintained garrisons throughout their empire to guard the roads and protect the travelers who used them. The Sogdians were ethnically and linguistically related to the Achaemenids, but that doesn't necessarily mean they always played well together. (Of course, numerous Persian kings employed large numbers of Sogdian mercenaries in their armies, so they had their uses.)

I believe you're correct about the founding of Samarkand.

Editing just to add: I got your joke. :lol:

Edited by kmt_sesh

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(...)

Historically, however, the first attested attempt to organize a navy in India, as described by Megasthenes, is attributed to Candragupta Maurya (322 BC - 298 BC). The Mauryan empire navy continued till the times of emperor Ashoka who used it to send massive diplomatic missions to Greece, Syria, Egypt, Cyrene, Macedonia and Epirus. Following nomadic interference in Siberia - one of the sources for India's bullion - Indian sailors diverted their attention to the Malay peninsula, which became their new source for gold and was soon exposed to the world via a series of trade routes. The period under the Mauryan empire also witnessed various other regions of the world engage increasingly in the Indian Ocean martitime voyages. India had colonies, in Cambodia in Java, in Sumatra, in Borneo and even in Japan. Indian traders had established settlements in Southern China, in the Malayan Peninsula, in Arabia, in Egypt, in Persia, etc., Through the Persians and Arabs, India had cultivated trade relations with the Roman Empire.

Sanskrit and Pali literature have innumerable references to the maritime activity of Indians in ancient times. There is also one treatise in Sanskrit, named Yukti Kalpa Taru which has been compiled by a person called Bhoja Narapati. This treatise gives a technocratic exposition on the technique of shipbuilding. It sets forth minute details about the various types of ships, their sizes, the materials from which they were built. The Yukti Kalpa Taru sums up in a condensed form all the available information. The Yukti Kalpa Taru gives sufficient information and date to prove that in ancient times, Indian shipbuilders had a good knowledge of the materials which were used in building ships. Apart from describing the qualities of the different types of wood and their suitablility in shipbuilding, the Yukti Kalpa Taru also gives an elaborate classification of ships based on their size. The primary division is into 2 classes viz. Samanya (ordinary) and Vishesha (Special). The treatise also gives elaborate directions for decorating and furnishing the ships with a view to making them comfortable for passengers. Also mentioned are details about the internal seating and accommodation to be provided on the ships. Three classes of ships are distinguished according to their length and the position of cabins. The ships having cabins extending from one end of the deck to the other are called Sarvamandira vessels. These ships are recommended for the transport of royal treasure and horses. The next are the Madhyamarnandira vessels which have cabins only in the middle part of their deck. These vessels are recommended for pleasure trips. And finally there is a category of Agramandira vessels, these ships were used mainly in warfare.

--

India's maritime heritage goes well beyond in the past than some of us might comprehend. With the Himalayas in the north, India for centuries has depended on sea routes for trade and communication with rest of the world. Vital sea links therefore emerged over a period of time for the exchange of trade, commerce and culture. Historians and scholars have traced our associations with the sea way back to the Harappan culture, around 3000 B.C. Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa reveal personal ornaments of shell and pearls, picked up possibly from the Indian or Persian Gulf coasts. It is believed that Harappans came from, what is presently Jamnagar, to the Gulf of Cambay. The naval dock unearthed at Loothal in Ahmedabad district further confirms presence of large ships capable of being used at sea. Besides, there is also overwhelming evidence that commercial contact existed between the inhabitants of the Indus Valley and the People of Eygpt, Central Asia and Persia.

http://www.anonlineindia.com/facts/shipping.htm

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Egypt - India:

Parallel Maritime Histories (Greece, Egypt, India, South Yemen, China, Rome)

However, by the time Cleopatra and Mark Antony tried to make their escape to India, the Nabataeans had gained control of the Red Sea. The Egyptian navy was engaged and sixty Egyptian ships were destroyed. (Josephus) After this, the Nabataeans enjoyed a monopoly on sea trade until 106 AD when the Romans annexed them. From this point on, Roman ships also began to sail the Red Sea, but as far as we know, few of them were used for trade with India and China. This was usually done by Arab private enterprises, as we will discover later in this book.

http://nabataea.net/mhistroy.html

After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, Cleopatra seems to have groomed Caesarion to take over as "sole ruler without his mother."[1] She may have intended to go into exile, perhaps with Antony, who was hoping he would be allowed to retire, as Lepidus had. When Octavian invaded Egypt in 30 BC, Cleopatra sent Caesarion, at the time 17 years old, to the Red Sea port of Berenice for safety, with possible plans of an escape to India. Octavian captured the city of Alexandria on August 1, 30 BC, the date that marks the official annexation of Egypt to the Roman Republic. Mark Antony had committed suicide prior to Octavian's entry into the capital; Cleopatra followed his example by committing suicide on August 12, 30 BC. Caesarion's guardians, including his tutor, either were themselves lured by false promises of mercy into returning the boy to Alexandria or perhaps even betrayed him; the records are unclear. Plutarch says that Caesarion had actually escaped to India, but was falsely promised the kingdom of Egypt, Caesarion, who was said to be Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, was sent by his mother, with much treasure, into India, by way of Ethiopia. There Rhodon, another tutor like Theodorus, persuaded him to go back, on the ground that [Octavian] Caesar invited him to take the kingdom.[4] Octavian is supposed to have had Caesarion executed in Alexandria, following the advice of Arius Didymus, who said "Too many Caesars is not good" (a pun on a line in Homer).

http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=46⊂=3532&cat_name=People+-+Ancient+Egypt&subcat_name=Cleopatra+VII+%26+Ptolemy+XV+Cesarion+

Quintus Didius was a Roman governor of the province Syria (31 BC to 29 BC).

Octavian, the later Emperor Augustus, won the decisive Battle of Actium against Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. Then – at the end of 31 BC – he sent Didius as governor to Syria. If Octavian conquered Egypt, Cleopatra wanted to escape to India with a fleet, which she had pulled through a silty canal into the Red Sea, but Didius induced Malchos, the king of the Nabataeans, to stop her plan by putting her ships on fire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintus_Didius

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Egypt - India II :

Plutarch's account coincides with an oral tradition in India that Cheras of Kerala traded extensively with Egypt and the descendants of that royal family were told that letters were exchanged with Cleopatra.

The [Canadian] historian George Woodcock says that Caesarion did indeed manage to escape with a large treasure and was granted asylum in Kerala. Lucy Hughes-Hallet in her book “Cleopatra: histories, dreams, distortions” says that the Queen herself intended to flee to India but fell ill and therefore ordered her son to leave without her...whether or not he reached Kerala and survived is not known clearly, but the story assumes that he arrived in Kerala and was received as a honored guest of the royal family. In fact, such was the respect and importance of this guest that there is said to have been a matrimonial alliance between the Egyptian prince and a Chera Princess.

Furthermore, Nicolaus of Damascus reported ongoing communications between factions in India and Augustus at this time.

This writer [Nicolaus of Damascus] states that at Antioch, near Daphne, he met with ambassadors from the Indians, who were sent to Augustus Caesar. It appeared from the letter that several persons were mentioned in it, but three only survived, whom he says he saw. The rest had died chiefly in consequence of the length of the journey. The letter was written in Greek upon a skin; the import of it was, that Porus was the writer, that although he was sovereign of six hundred kings, yet that he highly esteemed the friendship of Cæsar; that he was willing to allow him a passage through his country, in whatever part he pleased, and to assist him in any undertaking that was just.

http://ancientimes.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

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Posted (edited)

Great info. Didnt know about plans for leaving to India. Although, somehow I always liked Augustus more. In fact he is my favourite emperor under the eagle. I didnt like "incomparable lifes society" life style.

Also Antony was involved into Cicero murder and I like Octavians general Agripa.

@Kmt

Imagine army of those kung fu chicks. Sogdians or Mongols I think they would reconsider idea of attacking the caravan. :w00t:

Edited by Melo

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...

@Kmt

Imagine army of those kung fu chicks. Sogdians or Mongols I think they would reconsider idea of attacking the caravan. :w00t:

Oh, I have no problem imagining them. I have no problem at all. :devil:

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