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.
Black with Color Inserts
6 x 9
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.