After the decline of the power of Rome, the dominant force in Asiatic commerce and navigation was Persia, and from that time onward, until the arrival of the Portuguese upon the scene early in the 16th century the spice trade, whose chief emporia were in or near the Malay Peninsula, was in Persian or Arab hands.
There was, for instance, the ambition of the adventurer prince, the younger son, eager to carve a principality in the far East, of whom Bohemund is the type; there was the interest of Italian towns, anxious to acquire the products of the East more directly and cheaply, by erecting their own emporia in the eastern Mediterranean.
On the one hand they led to the establishment of emporia in the East - for instance, Acre, and after the fall of Acre Famagusta, both in their day great centres of Levantine trade.
Daux, Recherches sur l'origine et l'emplacement des emporia pheniciens dans le Zeugis et le Byzacium (Paris, 1869); Ch.
Daux, Les Emporia pheniciens dans le Zeugis et le Byzacium (1869); Ludwig Muller, Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique (1860-1862; Supplement, 1874); Ch.