The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written in approximately AD50 , describes a well established trade route, linking Arabia with Azania, as the east coast of Africa was known in the Graeco-Roman era. The principal port of trade was Mocha (or Merku and Mark'a) in present day Yemen, and the last port in Azania was Rhapta, lying some two courses from the island of Menouthesias, itself 300 stadia - a measure of distance equivalent to about 50 km - from the coast. Menouthesias was "...a low island covered with trees in which are rivers..." according to the Periplus. And Rhapta lay to the south…
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