How Did the Spice Trade Affect the Fortunes of the Arab World?



Mark Khoury



Original Date

November 3, 2018


For more than 1,000 years, the Spice Trade was the largest global trade network in the world, bringing spices from the places as far away as Eastern China, Southern India, and the Malay Islands to the plates of European consumers. For centuries, various Arab and Persian traders relied on the unending demand for spices within Europe and their strategic positioning as middlemen to profit as merchants in this lucrative trade. However, both empires would feel threatened by the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the increasing competition for access to this trade by the Ottoman's formidable navy. This presentation examines the historical context for the Spice Trade and examines the influence of the Spice Trade in shaping the future of the Arab World and of global politics thereafter.

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