extensive production by large industries. It seems that the Romans mainly
imported spices (like pepper, known as the yavanapriya, cardamom,
malabathrum or cinnamon, costhus, nard, bedilium, etc.) for which south
India was famous. They also imported several precious and semi-precious
stones (like diamonds, sapphires, agate, carnelian, turquoise, onyx, sardonyx,
etc.), pearls, cotton cloth called monakhe (fine quality) as well as
sagmatogene (coarse type), muslins and mallow cloth, indigo, ivory,
sandalwood, animal skins, iron and steel, etc. from central and southern
India. All this may be taken as constituting ‘terminal (or territorial) trade’, for
these products were directly supplied by India. Besides, there was also some
‘transit trade’, especially in silk, which diverted by Parthian hostility from the
more direct continental routes, sometimes found its way from China via the
east coast of India to the ports of the Malabar coast from where it went to the
  A graphic account of the Indo-Roman trade is preserved in the Peri plus
  Maris Erythreae or Peri plus of the Erythrean Sea (meaning a voyage or
  sailing chart of the Red Sea) written in about AD 60 by an anonymous
  sailor of Alexandria. It describes the Indian ports along with their exports
  and imports. They are Barbaricum (near the mouth of the Indus), Barygaza
  (Broach), Suppara (Sopara), Kalliena (Kalyana), Semylla, Mandagora,
  Palaepatmae, Melizeigara, Byzantion, Togarum, Naura, Tyndis, Muziris,
  Nelcynda (all on the western coast), Comari, Colchi (Korkai), Poduca
  (Arikamedu), Sopatma, Masalia (Masulipatnam) and Ganga or Tamralipti
  (all on the eastern coast).
    In return, the Romans exported to India a large number of coins,
invariably of gold and silver. MEM Wheeler reported in the fifties that 68
hoards of Roman coins of the first century AD were unearthed in the
subcontinent and no fewer than 57 came from south of the Vindhyas.
According to the latest reports 129 finds of Roman coins have been
unearthed, and most of them have been found in Peninsular India. This
justifies the complaint of Pliny