Trade was big in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Big cities used for trade were cities along the coast and along major trade routes like the Silk Road and spice routes for example. Europe and Asia were big on trading with each other. One could go from Europe to China along routes like the Silk Road. Some big trade cities in Antiquity were places like Carthage, Phoenicia, and Ancient Rome. Constantinople was a major trading city in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It was so diverse there, that people spoke all types of languages! It wasn’t unlike a modern city today in terms of the diverse amount of people there were. Major civilizations would often have trade cities to trade with other civilizations. Many trade cities were along the coast so that people could ship things in by boat, but they also had them near resources like salt, spices and raw material. Goods like silk and jade came from China and spices and slat came from the Middle East. Other goods that were traded were metals, food, wine, precious minerals and metals, and slaves.
Trade was also big in that if affected how different places connected to each other. Trading helped civilizations in that they could give each other things that one had and one had not. Trade was a major part in a lot of alliances and conflicts. Whoever controlled the trade routes had the most power over everyone else monopolizing the trade industry. Cities like Constantinople were placed where they are partly due to trade. Constantinople, for example, is in a place where ships had to pass through it to go anywhere else. Also, trade helped spread new people to different places along with their customs and knowledge. Things became more standardized like units of measurement. Check out Trade in Antiquity for more information!