Aspects of Portuguese rule in the Arabian Gulf, 1521-1622
This study deals with Portuguese rule over the Arabian Gulf from 1521, after the occupation of Hormuz, Bahrain and Qatif, to 1622 when Portuguese power declined after the capture of Hormuz by an English-Persian alliance. The work is organised into an introduction and five thematic chapters, each of which addresses one or more political and economic aspects of Portuguese rule in this period. The introduction provides a summary of the primary Portuguese sources, and other English, Arabic, and Turkish sources which pertain to the Portuguese invasion of the Gulf. There then follows a short description of the geography of the Gulf. Chapter One deals with Portuguese expansion and objectives in the East. In addition, the chapter discusses the commercial contacts between India and the Gulf before the Portuguese arrived. Particular attention is paid to the political and social structure of Hormuz. Chapter Two discusses the economic life of the Gulf during the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century. This chapter also examines the commercial experiences or influences that the Portuguese brought to the people of the Gulf, and the economic aspects of the Portuguese presence. Chapter Three examines the basis and character of Portugal's political administration in the East in general, and in the Gulf in particular. This chapter also addresses relations between the Portuguese viceroyalty and the local governors. Chapter Four opens with a discussion of local resistance in the Gulf against the Portuguese. It deals also with the arrival of the Ottomans in the Gulf in the sixteenth century and their conflict with the Portuguese, and with Portuguese relations with Persia during the reign of Shah Abbas. Finally, Chapter Five assesses the reasons for the collapse of Portuguese domination in the Gulf in 1622 and its effects on the region. It discusses in detail why Hormuz, as one of the most important props of the Portuguese empire in the East, fell as an easy victim, even though it was thriving economically.