- from Byzantine Empire
Pretend you’re in Constantinople. The year is 540 CE. The city is a busy port where many big global trade routes meet. Merchants here trade and sell goods from all over the world. Let’s go into a warehouse near the docks and see what’s going on today.
Rolls of cloth, even silk and linen, fill the shelves. Barrels and amphorae (large clay jugs) are all over. They hold oil and wine. Workers unload chests of spices that just came in. Those precious powders came from China and India. Caravans carried them across the desert. The merchant who owns all these things has a ship. Tomorrow, it will set sail across the Black Sea and then go up the Dnieper River. He hopes it will come back full of furs, salt, wax, and honey.