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Ref ID: 28363
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Hall, Kenneth R.
Title: Local and international trade and traders in the Straits of Melaka region: 600-1500
Date: 2004
Source: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
DOI: 10.1163/1568520041262305
Abstract: This article notes that the recent mainstream scholarship on the pre-1500 Indian Ocean trade by non-Southeast Asia specialists has limited itself to Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Chinese evidence—and that these scholars' exclusion of Southeast Asian documentation has led to erroneous statements and conclusions. Based on selected examples of the omitted Southeast Asia evidence, this study highlights the changes taking place in the maritime trade network from the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries, and the increasing complexity of the Asian trade system. It demonstrates that scholars need to reconsider their characterizations of Asian trade "centers" ("emporia"), and that by the fifteenth century an Asia trade "center" is a convenient and commonly agreed upon marketplace that is networked with and shared by merchant sojourners who are based in other significant regional "centers." It also contends that assertions that there was a late fourteenth- through fifteenth-century Asian trade decline are incorrect, and that Asian commerce was robust when the Portuguese appeared on the scene at the beginning of the sixteenth century—and seized Melaka in their failed attempt to dominate the Asia maritime trade network.
Date Created: 4/9/2012
Volume: 47
Number: 2
Page Start: 213
Page End: 260