Roman Alexandria, Queen of the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas
Abstract Regarding the concept of connectivity entre mers—Outre-Mer, Alexandria ad Aegyptum reminds us of the circumstance that in addition to seascapes, straits and islands on the one hand, and the adjacent port cities and territories on the other, cities that seem inconveniently located can emerge as a point of reference as well. This was the case with Alexandria, especially in Roman times: not only did all the luxuries of maritime trade with India and Arabia pass through her gates, but all those engaged in this trade, wealthy financiers and Roman authorities alike, were based there. This is illustrated by three different pieces of evidence, namely, an inscription that attests to the presence of Roman military forces in the Arabian Sea, and two
papyri, one furnishing first-hand details of the terms and conditions of the Indo-Roman trade, and the other featuring sketches of south Asian animals.