Please Don’t Say “Maritime Silk Road”

Was medieval maritime trade less important than the ‘Silk Road(s)’?

Fig. 1 — A junk (<inchi> here due to a copying error — see second line of the top caption) on the Catalan Atlas, a map of the world made in Mallorca in around 1375 (Paris, BnF, Espagnol 30). Junks were known across Afro-Eurasia in the late Middle Ages for the huge volume of cargo and crew they could carry. The word is ultimately of Chinese origin but ended up in the Middle East and Europe by way of the Malay “jong”.
Fig. 2 — Part of Marco Polo’s description of Zaytun (Quanzhou) in China from the oldest known Polo manuscript (Paris, BnF, Français 1116, here f.70v), which was written in around 1310: ‘…And I tell you that for one pepper ship that goes to Alexandria or elsewhere to pick up pepper for export to Christendom, this port [Zaytun] is visited by a hundred. For you should know that it is one of the two ports in the world to which most merchandise comes.’

What other term is there?

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Posting about ancient and medieval Indonesia, up to ~1500 CE. Mainly into 14th & 15th century stuff, but earlier is fine too.

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Medieval Indonesia

Medieval Indonesia

Posting about ancient and medieval Indonesia, up to ~1500 CE. Mainly into 14th & 15th century stuff, but earlier is fine too.

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