It is a well-known fact that the discovery of the sea route to India and the ensuing scarcity of spices and other Indian products on the markets of Alexandria and Damascus resulted in their prices rising steeply. Judging from Venetian sources, the change in the condition of the Levantine trade was considered catastrophic. On the other hand, some scholars have already drawn attention to the fact that pepper prices fell considerably on European markets in the period preceding the expedition of Vasco da Gama, and especially in the second quarter of the 15th century. It is probable, a priori, that this was caused by a downward trend of prices in the Near East. But other factors, such as the level of demand in European countries and the conditions of trade (communications with the Near East, direct or indirect trade), could also have influenced the course of spice prices in Europe. In order to explain the tremendous impact of the rise of spice prices at the beginning of the 16th century, I have suggested, in my Histoire des prix et des salaires, the probability of a fall of prices in the Near Eastern emporia in the pre-Vasco period. In a paper published a few years later I tried to substantiate this conjecture by additional materials and, further, by the supposition that it was accompanied by a great increase in the volume of the Levantine trade, and also a general price-decline in the Near East at the end of the Middle Ages.