20 Apr 16

Before the circumnavigation of Africa by the Portuguese, the corridor of the Red Sea had linked the Mediterranean with the Indian Ocean world, where many of the most coveted goods of international trade originated. The Dahlak Archipelago, in the southern Red Sea, provided a set of stepping stones for trading networks crisscrossing this transregional continuum; a market and a shipping service hub; unique marine products; and a gateway in the movement of enslaved people from East Africa to Arabia and beyond. Historian Roxani Margariti’s lecture, “The View from Water’s Edge: Red Sea Islands and Indian Ocean History,” focuses on the local, regional, and transregional history of this medieval and early modern island polity. How, she asks, do the medieval Islamic world, the Middle East, and East Africa look from their maritime edges?