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The Periplus of the Erythraen Sea, written by an anonymous Greek navigator, gives details of Indian exports to the Roman Empire. The main exports were: pepper, pearls, ivory, silk, spike-nard, malabathrum, diamonds, saffron, precious stone and tortoise shell.
The author of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea (75 A.D.) gives the most valuable information about the trade between India and the Roman Empire. He mentions the port of Naura (Cannanore) Tyndis (Tondi), Muzuris (Musiri, Cranganore), and Nelcynda as the leading ones on the west coast.
It also mentions Argaru (Uraiyur) as the place to which were sent all the pearls gathered on the coast and from which were exported muslins called agraritic. Silk, which was supplied by Indian merchants to the Roman Empire, was considered so important that the Roman emperor Aurelian declared it to be worth its weight in gold.
The Roman need for spices could not be met entirely by local supply; this brought Indian traders into contact with south-east Asia. In return for her exports, India imported from the Roman empire such commodities as topaz, tin cloth, linen, antimony, crude glass, copper, tin, lead, wine, orpiment and wheat. The Romans also exported to India wine amphorae and red glazed Arretine ware which have been found at Arikamedu near Pondicherry. They also sent to India a large number of gold and silver coins.