Oman's Maritime Activities in the Indian Ocean, 1650-1856 CE, in A. Al Salimi, E. Staples (Eds.), Oman. A Maritime History, hardcover edition 2017 (STUDIES ON IBADISM AND OMAN vol 9), ISBN: 9783487153902

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The study of the history of the Indian Ocean can no longer be considered merely as hagiographic reconstructions, but must take into consideration a number of historical-political-institutional aspects. These include: the presence of different cultural, social, and religious groups, together with the affirmation of the Omani Ibadites (Ibāḍiyyah) dominance between the mid-seventeenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth ; the fundamental influences of the Indian mercantile and other Asian communities; and the impact with the Swahili population of the Eastern African coast and the Sub-Saharan regions . All of these issues should also be considered in relation to links with Europe and with the newly United States of America . The Ya’riba (sing. Yaʿrubi) dynasty emerged in Oman around 1624 CE . They created and extended a prosperous empire. During the eighteenth century the Ya’riba gave life to a flourishing mercantile power that was interconnected to the coastal cities and to the principal islands of Eastern Africa. The Ya’riba domination along East African littorals, that included Mombasa and the Island of Pemba, was characteristic of quite normal changes in dominion over the seas, without resulting in substantial alterations in commercial organization . This institution had its roots in the tribal system of exercising power, as well as in political agreements with local authorities. In this regard, the Ya’riba, financially assisted by merchants from the Western coasts of India and militarily defended by South Central Asian soldiers, carried to the littorals of East Africa their traditional tribal system. It was under the strong and prosperous rule of the Ya’riba dynasty, till approximately 1748 CE, that the distinguishing characteristics of Omani military architecture began to crystallize. The Ya’riba Rulers, effectively uniting Oman for the first time in many centuries, rebuilt the old irrigation systems (falaj فلج pl. aflâj) , renovated the towns, revitalized agriculture, and spurred the pace of trade. European maritime powers of the time started to extend their territorial ambitions, pursued from terra firma to the seas. The rise to commercial power in the Indian Ocean of the Netherlands and Great Britain marked the start of the progressive decline of the Portuguese empire in the East Indies . In the eighteenth century, the Al Bu Sa’id defeated the Ya’riba at Muscaṭ and were destined to extend their political and commercial power in the Indian Ocean, and along the Eastern African littorals throughout the nineteenth century. The gradual emergence of new Omani maritime dynasties resulted also from the numerous polarizations that followed the struggles against the Portuguese presence in the Gulf and in the Indian Ocean. This gave rise to gradual and discontinuous processes of unification among the Omani tribes, traditionally divided and in conflict with each other, which came to the fore in the progressive affirmation of the international power of the Al Bu Sa’id in the Gulf and in the Indian Ocean.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteOman. A Maritime History.
Numero di pagine21
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016

Serie di pubblicazioni



  • Indian Ocean History
  • Islam in Africa


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