Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Roxani Margariti

Emory University, USA

Roxani Eleni Margariti studied Near Eastern Archaeology at University College London and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Western Asiatic Archaeology. She continued her studies in the United States, where she earned a Master of Arts in Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University and a PhD in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University, where she has been teaching since 2002. She was the Director of Undergraduate Studies for a number of years, and currently serves as the Director of Graduate Studies in the PhD Program in Islamic Civilizations Studies (Laney Graduate School, Emory University), and as Director of the Program in Ancient Mediterranean Studies (Emory College). In 2017 she taught at the University of Crete as a Greek Diaspora Fellow. In 2016 she was named Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities at Emory and the Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow in History at the American Academy in Berlin. Her research focuses on port cities and maritime states of the Arabian Peninsula and the Western Indian Ocean, economic and social networks, and the material culture of Islam and of the maritime societies of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Her first book, entitled Aden and the Indian Ocean Trade: 150 Years in the Life of a Medieval Arabian Port (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007) is a study of urban topography and commercial institutions at the Yemeni port from the 11th to the 13th century, based primarily on Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic sources and archaeological and environmental data. She is currently completing her second monograph entitled Insular Crossroads: the Dahlak Archipelago, the Red Sea and Indian Ocean History, in which she examines the biography of a maritime polity at the margins of larger states of the medieval and early modern Middle East and North-East Africa. Other recent research focuses on Muslim practices and beliefs about the sea and on vestiges of pre-Ottoman Islam in Greece.

Select Publications:

  • “An Almoravid Dinar at Pavlopetri, Laconia: Archaeological Enigma and Historical Context.” In Dinars and Dirhams: Festschrift in Honor of Michael L. Bates, edited by Judith Lerner and Touraj Duryaee with Virginie Rey, 203–218. Jordan Center of Persian Studies, 2020.

  • with Phillip I. Lieberman: “Economic History.” Jewish History 33 (2019): 161-174.

  • with S. Kugle: “Narrating Community: the Qissat Shakarwati Farmad and Accounts of Origin in Kerala and Around the Indian Ocean”, Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient 60 (2017): 337–380.

  • “Wrecks and Texts: a Judeo-Arabic Case Study”, in D. N. Carlson, J. Leidwanger, S. M. Kampbell (eds.), Maritime Studies in the Wake of the Byzantine Shipwreck at Yassiada Turkey, Texas A&M University Press, 2015, 189–201.

  • “Coins and Commerce: Monetization and Cross-Cultural Collaboration in the Western Indian Ocean (Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries)”, in C. Antunes, L. Halevi, F. Trivellato (eds.), Trade and Religion in World History, Oxford University Press, 2014, 192–215.

  • (co-editor) Jews, Christians and Muslims in Medieval and Early Modern Times: A Festschrift in Honor of Mark R. Cohen, Brill 2014.

  • (co-editor) Histories of the Middle East: Studies in Middle Eastern Society, Economy and Law in Honor of A.L. Udovitch, Brill 2010.

  • Aden and the Indian Ocean Trade: 150 Years in the Life of a Medieval Arabian Port, North Carolina University Press, 2007.