By Dionysius A Agius

This booklet charts the advance of Islamic ships and boats within the Western Indian Ocean from the 7th to the early 16th century near to previous sessions. It makes use of more often than not Classical and Medieval Arabic literary resources with iconographical facts and archaeological unearths. The interdependence of assorted buying and selling actions within the quarter led to a go fertilization, not just of products but in addition of principles and tradition which gave an underlying harmony to the Arabian, Persian and Indian maritime peoples. This examine has resulted in a re-examination of that maritime tradition, displaying that it used to be predominantly Persian and Indian, with chinese language effect, during the Islamic interval until eventually the arrival of the Portuguese, as mirrored in nautical terminology and know-how.

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Additional info for Classic Ships of Islam: From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean

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C. 194 BCE) and Strabo (d. after 21 CE) apply the name Persikos kolpos (Persian Gulf ), which later Roman historians rendered as Persicus sinus, a toponym that was translated into European languages and remained consistent until modern times (map 1). e. the Sea of the Province of Fars) Àrst appears on Islamic maps in fourth/tenth-century geographical-historical works such as that of al-MuqaddasÒ (Á. second half of the 4th/10th c) and Ibn Æawqal (Á. c. 367/977–8) (map 2). Al-Mas{ÖdÒ (d. 345/956–7) calls it al-Ba˜r al-FÊrisÒ (the Sea of Fars) as well as KhalÒj FÊrs (the Gulf of Fars);4 it is described by Ibn al-BalkhÒ (Á.

Much of his data is valuable, not only because of his personal experience, but in that he extracts his information from earlier authorities whose works had, at the time of his writing, all but disappeared. He is an authority who inspired other historians with a versatile outlook, such as Ibn KhaldÖn (d. 808/1406–7) mentioned earlier. He believed in personal experiences, wandering through different regions in thirty years of almost constant journeys. Al-Mas{ÖdÒ takes particular interest in the sea and mariners, their skills and their language.

Thus, maritime material culture is the relationship between man and all that pertains to the sea: the carpenter and his water/seacraft; the community and their materials; the types of boats and ships; the crew; navigational aids; winds and currents; the merchants and their voyage; trade and ˜ajj (pilgrimage); the harbour and the people. When talking of shipbuilding techniques and hull design, tradition is the handing down of ideas and practices from one generation to another. While this suggests that things remained the same, adaptations must have occurred over time; overall, however, the shipwright would have adhered to the tried and tested practices of the past, within the context of the socio-economic conditions, the availability of material, technological resources and the environment.

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