The sea roads also profited by the peace.  The great ports enjoyed a full prosperity.  To Rome, by way of Ostia, came corn from Sicily and Egypt, metals from Spain, wood and hides from Gaul, pottery from Greece, spices and perfumes from the Orient.  In the center of the Aegean, Delos stored an immense quantity of merchandise: Rhodes, Antioch, Alexandria, and Ephesus traded with farther Asia, even with China, along the caravan routes which brought in fine porcelain.  Marseilles, Bordeaux, Byzantium, and the re-built Carthage experienced a great expansion.  Shipping companies handled immense business.  There was even a tourist industry: people wintered in Egypt, lingering by the Pyramids, gazing at Apis the Bull-god, and feeding the sacred crocodiles.

From: Jesus in His Time by H. Daniel-Rops; translated from the French by R. W. Millar (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1955), p. 139.  French original published in 1945.


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