Roman maritime trade in the subcontinent according to the Periplus Maris Erythraei, 1st century CE. Kushan ring with portraits indo roman trade pdf Septimus Severus and Julia Domna, a testimony to Indo-Roman relations.
Indo-Roman relations were built on trade. Roman trade in the subcontinent began with overland caravans and later by direct maritime trade following the conquest of Egypt by Augustus in 30 BCE. Augustus maintained the Ptolemaic Red Sea ports and the picket service from the Red Sea to the Nile, whence goods could be carried downstream to the ports of Pelusium and Alexandria. He also replaced the Ptolemaic patrol fleet on the Red Sea to keep piracy in check.
India by leaving from Aden on the summer monsoon and returning on the anti-trade winds of winter. This would be made safer and more convenient by the Roman sack of Aden in a naval raid c. Indians having previously proclaimed a treaty of alliance, concluded it now with the presentation, among other gifts, of tigers, animals which the Romans, and, if I mistake not, the Greeks as well, saw for the first time. The overland caravans would gain more convenient access into the Indian sub-continent after the expansion of the Kushans into northwestern India during the 1st century CE, and then down the Ganges Valley in the early 2nd century. From those land routes at least in the time of Augustus several Indian embassies reached Rome. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by an anonymous sea-captain in Greek, can now be confidently dated to between 40 and 70 and, probably, between 40 and 50 CE. 77 CE, left probably the most important account of India and its trade with Rome that has survived in Classical literature.
Coral is as highly valued among the Indians as Indian pearls. It is also found in the Red Sea, but there it is darker in colour. The most prized is found in the Gallic Gulf around the Stoechades Islands, in the Sicilian Gulf around the Aeolian Islands, and around Drepanum. Coral-berries are no less valued by Indian men than specimen Indian pearls by Roman ladies. Indian soothsayers and seers believe that coral is potent as a charm for warding off dangers.