|Perplus of Erythraean Sea Book|
Aristotle's 'De Mondo' written in the 4th century B.C. was the first foreign source which helps to get information about Sri Lanka. The books and reports written in Greek, Roman, Chinese, Arabic and Sanskrit are the main foreign sources available to us. When studying the history of Sri lanka, one has to refer to these sources too. These foreign sources give us very important information about the international trade relationships of Sri lanka.
According to the book 'Periplus of the Erythraean Sea', it is mentioned that the ancient Sri Lankans had well developed transactions with people in the North-West Indian coast. The book 'Persian Wars' of the prothopias describes the competition among Ethiopian, Persian and Indian merchants to promote trade links with Sri Lanka in the sixth century A.C.
The Pearl and Gem trade of Sri Lanka was highly discussed in 'Arthasasthraya' a book on economics written by Kautilya in India. Further information about the trade links between India and Sri Lanka can be found in the 'Divyavadan, Manimekalei and silappadikaram', all of which are Indian literary works.
The celebrated Chinese monk Fa-Hsian, in one of his records states that he had seen a silk fan donated by a Chinese monk to a Sri Lankan temple. The Chinese 'Thripitaka' has a list of names of the Sri Lankan monks who had visited China. From the records of Ibn Batuta, Cosmos, Marco Polo, Baldeaus, Robert Knox, Juan Rubeiro and John doily we can get valuable information about the ancient Sri Lanka.
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