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The Life of the Red Sea Dhow: A Cultural History of Seaborne Exploration in the Islamic World

The Life of the Red Sea Dhow: A Cultural History of Seaborne Exploration in the Islamic World
Dionisius A. Agius

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Description

For centuries the waters of the Red Sea have been amongst the most hazardous and feared in the world. Strong or erratic winds have taken lives and broken boats, smashed against rocks or hidden sandbars. Pirates too have menaced: some out for booty alone; others for slaves. Many seafarers have been terrified by the capricious genies of the ocean, and only by prayer and ritual might crew members hope to ward off any disaster or evil that might befall their ship. Central to this archetypal and perilous maritime scene has been the dhow, the versatile sailing craft that survives to this day and that for many hundreds of years has linked the commercial and pilgrim centres of sea and desert. In his new book Dionisius A Agius, one of the foremost scholars of Islamic material culture, offers a lucid and wide-ranging history of the iconic dhow from medieval to modern times. While the history of global and seafaring exploration is more popular than ever, seaborne discovery from Islamic lands remains an understudied subject.

Whether discussing trade and salt routes; shoals and wind patterns; spice harvest seasons; litanies and votive offerings to the sea; or the deep and resonant connection between language, memory and oral tradition, this is the first book to place the dhow in its full and remarkable cultural contexts.

Author Info

Dionisius A Agius is Al Qasimi Professor of Arabic Studies and Islamic Material Culture at the University of Exeter. He is the author of In the Wake of the Dhow (1999); and, most recently, Classic Ships of Islam: From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean (2008).

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Hardback
ISBN: 9781848858060
Publication Date: 29 Jul 2018
Number of Pages: 304
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 50 integrated bw illustrations, 5 maps, 16pp colour plates

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