An emporium refers to a trading post, factory, or market of Classical antiquity, derived from the Ancient Greek: ἐμπόριον, romanized: (empórion), which becomes Latin: emporium. The plural is emporia in both languages, although in Greek the plural undergoes a semantic shift to mean "merchandise". Emporium is a term that has also been used to describe the centres of heightened trade during the Early Middle Ages.
Emporia varied greatly in their level of activity. Some seem to have functioned much like the permanent European trading colonies in China, India and Japan in the early modern period or those of the mediaeval Italian maritime republics in the Levant. Others were probably annual events for a few days or weeks like the medieval Champagne fairs or modern trade fairs.