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Notables, Merchants, and Shaykhs of Southern Iran and Its Ports


Politics and Trade in the Persian Gulf, AD 1729-1789


This book investigates the socio-cultural and maritime history of 18th century – early 19th-century Southern Iran and the Persian Gulf in terms of the merchants, mariners and captains who lived and died in the turbulent waters of the western Indian Ocean. This “uncertain frontier” between a revitalized Ottoman Empire to the west and an emergant British India to the east became a testing grounds for the communities of the Gulf. Generally assumed to be a period of anarchy, the 18th-century maritime peoples resolved differences by marriage, forged alliances, and adapted their mercantile skills to the emerging age of global power.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-957-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Series: Conflict and Trade 5
Publication Date: Oct 2,2012
Interior Color: Black with Color Inserts
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 342
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-59333-957-9
$196.69
$118.01

This book investigates the social, cultural and maritime history of 18th century – early 19th-century Southern Iran and the Persian Gulf littoral in terms of the Persian, Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Indian, and African merchants, mariners and sea captains who lived and died in the turbulent ports and waters of the western Indian Ocean basin. This “uncertain frontier” between a revitalized Ottoman Empire to the west and an emergant British India to the east became a testing grounds for the independent, local and regional country trading communities of the Gulf. Generally assumed to be a period of land and seascape “anarchy” and “piracy”, the 18th-century port and maritime peoples resolved differences by marriage and economic alliances, aided each other against "foreign” powers such as the British and Dutch merchants, and adapted their trade and mercantile skills to the emerging 19th-century age of global power.

The specific focus of the book is on the history of the merchants and sea captains of the southern Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Lingeh, and the Peninsular ports of Ras al-Khayma and Masqat with passing references to the middle and northern Gulf ports and trade. The study is based on the English East India Company factory records and gazetteers, Persian and Arabic port, local and regional histories, as well as European and Middle Eastern traveler accounts as the study as a “test trench” into this critical historical watershed of Gulf and Indian Ocean basin history prior to the period of British formalization of colonial rule from Bombay to Zanzibar, from Aden and to Basra.

This book investigates the social, cultural and maritime history of 18th century – early 19th-century Southern Iran and the Persian Gulf littoral in terms of the Persian, Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Indian, and African merchants, mariners and sea captains who lived and died in the turbulent ports and waters of the western Indian Ocean basin. This “uncertain frontier” between a revitalized Ottoman Empire to the west and an emergant British India to the east became a testing grounds for the independent, local and regional country trading communities of the Gulf. Generally assumed to be a period of land and seascape “anarchy” and “piracy”, the 18th-century port and maritime peoples resolved differences by marriage and economic alliances, aided each other against "foreign” powers such as the British and Dutch merchants, and adapted their trade and mercantile skills to the emerging 19th-century age of global power.

The specific focus of the book is on the history of the merchants and sea captains of the southern Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Lingeh, and the Peninsular ports of Ras al-Khayma and Masqat with passing references to the middle and northern Gulf ports and trade. The study is based on the English East India Company factory records and gazetteers, Persian and Arabic port, local and regional histories, as well as European and Middle Eastern traveler accounts as the study as a “test trench” into this critical historical watershed of Gulf and Indian Ocean basin history prior to the period of British formalization of colonial rule from Bombay to Zanzibar, from Aden and to Basra.

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Contributor Biography

Thomas Ricks

Thomas M. Ricks is presently an independent research scholar on early modern and modern Iranian and Palestinian social and cultural history. He holds a M.A. in Persian Language and Literature and a Ph.D. in Middle East History both from Indiana University. He has written extensively on schools of Palestine and Iran as well as on the political economy (slave trade, merchants and sea captains) of early modern Iran and the Persian Gulf.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • List of Maps (page 11)
  • List of Tables (page 13)
  • Abbreviations (page 15)
  • Acknowledgements (page 17)
  • Preface (page 19)
  • Introductoin„Iran and its 18TH Century Historiography (page 25)
  • Chapter I - Political and Socioeconomic Structures of Late-Safavid Iran, Southern Iran, and the Gulf: The Safavids, Afghans, and Afshars, 1700-1745 (page 41)
    • I. Iran„Central and Provincial Structures, AD 1720 to 1745 (page 43)
    • II. Southern Iran, 1700…1745; Khuzistan, Kuhgilu, Fars, Laristan and Kerman (page 74)
    • III. The Gulf, 1700…1745; Irans Ports-of-Trade and the Politics of the Persian Gulf Littoral (page 87)
  • Chapter II „ Economic Wars and Political Alliances in Southern Iran and the Gulf: The Period of the Afshar Successors of Nader Shah,1745…1750 (page 95)
    • I. Nader Shah and his Sucessors to the Central Government (page 95)
    • II. Khuzistan: The Gulf Wars of the Banu Ka'b, Al-Kasir, and Mosha'sha' (page 98)
    • III. Fars and Laristan: The Aftermath of the Taqi Khan Revolt, Molla Alli Shah at Bandar Abbas, and Naser Khan at Lar (page 102)
    • IV. Kerman: Trade and Politics of Late-Safavid Notables (page 134)
  • Chapter III - Trade Wars and Politics of the Notables, Merchants, and Shaykhs in Southern Iran and the Iranian Gulf Littoral: The Rise of Karim Khan and the Zand Family, 1750-1753 (page 139)
    • I. The Triumvirate and Rise of the Zands (page 142)
    • II. Khuzistan: Trade and Politics in Shushtar (page 145)
    • III. Fars and Laristan: Revival of Commercial and Market Trade under the Zands and Naser Khan (page 156)
    • IV. Kerman: Revival of Politics and Trade under Shahrokh Khan Afshar. (page 180)
    • V. Gulf Trade and Politics: The Bandar Charak Wars and the Qawasim-Huwaleh Alliances (page 184)
  • Chapter IV - Social Alliances and Political Wars in Southern Iran: Consolidation of Zand Rule, 1753-1763 (page 193)
    • I. Karim Khan's Rule in Shiraz and Southern Iran, 1753-1763 (page 195)
    • II. Khuzistan: The Banu Ka'b and Shaykh Salman (page 210)
    • III. Fars and Laristan: Naser Khan of Lar and the Arabs of the Garmsir (page 213)
    • IV. Kerman: Shahrokh Khan Apshar, Khoda Morad Khan Zand and the Taqi Beg Dorrani Revolt (page 228)
    • V. Gulf Arab Trade and Politics: Molla Ali Shah and the Omani-Banu Ma'in Alliances, Qawasim-Huwalah Wars and the Bushire-Bandar Rig Rivalries (page 244)
  • Chapter V - Alliances and Trade Wars in the Gulf: The Zands of Southern Iran and their Entry into Gulf Politics, 1763-1765 (page 259)
    • I. Karim Khan's Policies and Wars in Southern Iran and the Gulf Littoral (page 260)
    • II. Khuzistan: The Wars of the Banu Ka'b under Shaykh Salman (page 267)
    • III. Fars and Laristan: The Demise of Naser Khan Lari and Molla Ali Shah of Bandar, and the Rise of Shaykh Naser of Bushire (page 269)
    • IV. Kerman: The Taqi Beg Dorrani Government and the Return to Zand Rule (page 270)
    • V. Gulf Trade and Politics: the Emergence of the Zands, the Omanis, and the Ottomans in the Mir Mohanna Wars and Arab Alliances (page 273)
  • Conclusion (page 287)
  • Appendices (page 299)
  • Maps (page 317)
  • Glossary (page 327)
  • Bibliography (page 333)
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