Academic Articles and Book Contributions 

Other Publications Include

A contributed chapter to ‘Rome and China: Points of Contact’, ed. Hyun Jin Kim, (Routledge, 2019)

A published chapter in The Indian Ocean in Antiquity’, ed. M. A. Cobb, (Routledge, 2019)

Completed Book Reviews for The Cambridge Classical Review:

Review of: ‘F. De Romanis, M. Maiuro (edd.) Across the Ocean: Nine Essays on Indo-Mediterranean Trade’. The Classical Review, Volume 66, Issue 01 (2016).

Review of: ‘Coedès, Texts of Greek and Latin Authors on the Far East from the 4th C.B.C.E. to the 14th C.C.E. I. Texts and Translations’. The Classical Review, Volume 64, Issue 02 (2014) 514-516.


Section on Roman Trade:‘The Monsoon Trade to India and the Periploi’ in Parker, The Great Trade Routes: A History of Cargoes and Commerce Over Land and Sea (Conway, 2012) 79-83.

e-book chapter: ‘Silk Ties: Ancient Rome and China’ in China and the West: From the Ming to Mao (History Today, 2012)

Published Articles in HISTORY TODAY MAGAZINE

When all Roads Led to Palmyra’ History Today (July 2016).
‘African Legions: Rome and Meroe’ History Today (May 2014).
‘Galen and the Great Fire’ History Today (September 2011).
‘The Lure of the Orient’, History Today (August 2010).
‘Silk Ties: Ancient Rome and China’, History Today (December 2007).


‘The Roman Empire and Ancient Ireland’ History Ireland (March 2012).

~~~~ AND CURRENTLY ~~~~ 

Completing a volume for Pen & Sword : ‘The Roman Empire and the Oasis Kingdoms’ 

Researching a volume on: ‘Ancient Ireland and the Roman Empire’

About me

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I am a founder member of the Classical Association in Northern Ireland. We provide regular talks, films, readings and other associated events free of charge and open to the public. We actively support other organisations that promote Ancient History and the Classics such as the Belfast Summer School in Greek and Latin, or the visit of Legion Ireland to the Ulster Museum.


I’m also a council member of the Classical Association of Ireland (CAI) and Associate Editor of their academic journal: ‘Classics Ireland’

I was educated at Lagan College in Belfast, the first cross-community integrated school to be established in Northern Ireland. The College was founded during a period of serious civil unrest know as ‘The Troubles’ to offer young people of all backgrounds an education free from the divisions of culture, religion, race, gender or social class. I owe a lot to the ethos of the teaching staff at that time under the leadership of School Principal, the historian Dr. Brian Lambkin.

  • BA – Ancient History & Archaeology
  • MA – Ancient History: Imperial Economy and Trade
  • PhD – Roman Economy and Trade beyond Imperial Frontiers

I attended Queen’s University in Belfast to study for an undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Ancient History, followed by a Master’s Degree in the Economy of the Roman Empire focusing on trade beyond the frontiers. I received funding from the Northern Ireland Department of Education and Learning for the early stages of my doctoral research into the Economy of Imperial Roman Trade, especially Eastern trade. My doctoral supervisor was Dr John Curran and I was subsequently offered the opportunity to teach tutorial classes in Republican Roman and Classical Greek History at Queen’s.

I’ve created several University Teaching Modules based on my published research – copies available to download on request

At present I’m funding my ongoing research by working in a Clinical Care Home providing Specialist Nursing Care for residents with complex medical needs and for those living with Dementia or Learning Disabilities (June 2016 – present time).

Promoting research into the Economy of the Roman Empire and studying the financial importance of Rome’s Distant Trade

Seneca said: “We have been given winds so that the wealth of each region might become common. These winds should not convey legions and cavalry, or bring harmful intent to foreign peoples”.

Any system that relies on exporting finite resources to generate essential revenues and creates trade wealth from importing renewable commodities, must take into account the forces that destabilised the ancient world. Natural disasters, war, mass population movements and the threat of global pandemics still have the potential to diminish human progress. This is the significance of studying the economy of distant trade.

During my doctoral research at I created a new framework for understanding the Imperial Roman economy based on significant international trade. The completed model is supported by ancient source evidence and recent archaeological discoveries. 
My thesis on this topic was submitted in 2006 and awarded in 2007.

The thesis was subsequently published as a monograph by Bloomsbury in 2010:  ‘Rome and the Distant East’
I’m continuing with my research into contacts, warfare and trade between the Roman Empire and the peoples and regimes beyond the Imperial frontiers, including African and eastern kingdoms and empires as far as the Han Dynasty. I also have an interest in the archaeology and history of Ancient Ireland in the Roman era and plan to publish my research.

Raoul McLaughlin

Research Historian ~Author ~ 

Books Published

Researching the Economy of Imperial Rome’s Distant Trade

  • ‘Rome and the Distant East: Trade Routes to the Ancient Lands of Arabia, India and China’, Monograph, Bloomsbury (2010) translated into Arabic and Portuguese, ‘Roma e o Oriente Distante’
  • ‘The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean: The Ancient World Economy and the Kingdoms of Africa, Arabia and India’, Pen & Sword, (2014)Paperback edition published (2018) – translated into Italian
  •  ‘The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China’, Pen & Sword (2016) translated into Chinese
  • SEE ALSO – Series of Illustrated Talks



https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Roman-Empire-and-the-Indian-Ocean-Paperback/p/14733 https://www.amazon.co.uk/