Arab Seafaring

Arab Seafaring : In the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times

By (author) , Revised by


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In this classic work George Hourani deals with the history of the sea trade of the Arabs in the Indian Ocean from its obscure origins many centuries before Christ to the time of its full extension to China and East Africa in the ninth and tenth centuries. The book comprises a brief but masterly historical account that has never been superseded. The author gives attention not only to geography, meteorology, and the details of travel, but also to the ships themselves, including a discussion of the origin of stitched planking and of the lateen fore-and-aft sails. Piracy in the Indian Ocean, day-to-day life at sea, the establishment of ancient lighthouses and the production of early maritime guides, handbooks, and port directories are all described in fascinating detail. Arab Seafaring will appeal to anyone interested in Arab life or the history of navigation. For this expanded edition, John Carswell has added a new introduction, a bibliography, and notes that add material from recent archaeological research.

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  • Paperback | 140 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 15.24mm | 249.47g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New JerseyUnited States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Graphy by John Carswell ed.
  • 8 halftone
  • 0691000328
  • 9780691000329
  • 539,561

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Review quote

"All in all, this brief account is rich in the depth of its analyses and in the authoritative sources cited, both Western and Arab... It is not likely that this superb work will be superseded in the near future."--Digest of Middle East Studies "This reprint of Professor Hourani's elegant monograph forty-five years after its first publication is a tribute to the soundness of his original conception and the excellence of its presentation. Hardly a word seems to need emendation."--Asian Affairs

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Back cover copy

"In "Arab Seafaring" George Hourani reviews--crisply, comprehensively and authoritatively--the story of Arab trade routes and the ships that plied them, from earliest times to the Middle Ages. His book is as indispensable today as it was when first published forty years ago; there is no other that covers this significant martime history."--Lionel Casson, author of "The Ancient Mariners"

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