This volume is a journey through the bazaars in the old Islamic cities of the Orient. Beginning with a general outline of the history of trade, it examines the origins of the "city within a city" and the early Islamic fortresses and caravanserais. The path of goods is traced along legendary caravan routes such as the Silk, Incense and Amber Roads. The everyday workings of the bazaar are described, and the book focuses on traditional trades and crafts including gold and sugar traders' markets, the workshops of lute makers, fabric painters and mosaic carvers, glass-blowers and coppersmiths. Persian carpet-makers, engravers and perfumers, miniature painters and calligraphers are revealed at work, as are people whose exotic trades are now dying out - sword and fire makers, water sellers, foot ironers, magicians and storytellers. In the final section, more than a dozen of the finest bazaars are described and illustrated.