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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 The book comprises a brief but masterly historical account that has never been superseded and that will appeal to anyone interested in Arab life or the history of navigation. John Carswell has added a new introduction, a bibliography, and notes that add material from recent archaeological research.