1st Edition

China’s Seaborne Trade with South and Southeast Asia (1200–1750)

ISBN 9780860787761
Published February 26, 1999 by Routledge
352 Pages

USD $150.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This second selection of studies by Professor Ptak focuses on Chinese maritime trade in the medieval and early modern periods. The first section deals with contacts between China and individual places, in particular Timor, the Sulu Islands, southern India and the islands of the Indian Ocean. Chinese geographical and other accounts of these areas and the trade routes leading to them are examined and where possible, compared with Arabic and Western works from the colonial period. The second part looks at trade in specific commodities such as sandalwood, coral, horses, tortoise-shell, ebony, cloves and tea. Relevant Chinese terms, the uses of each commodity, and the production and distribution are analysed. Both qualitative and quantitative information is drawn from the sources and it is demonstrated that many trade items were much more significant in international business than has been thought. At the same time, these studies highlight the importance of Chinese consumption in driving world commodity flows.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Geography, Routes and Regions: Some references to Timor in old Chinese records; Kurze Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten chinesischen Nachrichten zu den Sulu-Inseln während der Ming-Zeit; The northern trade route to the Spice Islands: South China Sea - Sulu Zone - North Moluccas, (14th to early 16th century); Die Andamanen und Nikobaren nach chinesischen Quellen (Ende Sung bis Ming); Yuan and Early Ming notices on the Kayal area in South India; The Maldive and Laccadive Islands (Lin Shan) in Ming records; Commodities: Terminology, Production, Uses, Trade: The transportation of sandalwood from Timor to China and Macao, c.1350-1600; Notes on the word ’Shanhu’ and Chinese coral imports from maritime Asia, c.1250-1600; Pferde auf See: Ein vergessener Aspekt des maritimen chinesischen Handels im frühen 15. Jahrhundert; China and the trade in tortoise shell (Sung to Ming periods); Ebenholz in China: Termini, Verwendung, Einfuhr (ca. 1200-1600); China and the trade in Cloves, circa 960-1435; Asian trade in cloves circa 1500: Quantities and trade routes - a synopsis of Portuguese and other sources; Die Rolle der Chinesen, Portugiesen und Holländer im Teehandel zwischen China und Südostasien (ca. 1600-1750); Index.

View More


'This volume reprints fourteen pieces of meticulous scholarship... Reviewers are duty-bound to try to catch the author in a lapse of bibliographic coverage. I found none.' Itinerario '... testif(ies) to the tremendous productivity of Ptak and confirm(s) his standing as the leading western expert on China's maritime enterprise and overseas relations between 1200 and 1750... this collection of essays is of the highest quality and should be of great interest to all maritime historians of China and many others... a milestone of scholarly endeavour.' International Journal of Maritime History '... wealth of detailed information, Roderich Ptak has performed a service to the profession.' The American Neptune 'We are all indebted to scholars like Roderich Ptak for the care and quality of their work, and this volume will be gratefully used by all serious students of Asian maritime history.' Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania '... this is a superb collection of articles...' International Journal of Nautical Archaeology