During the early modern period Oman held a key position in the trade routes whereby the Muslim world dominated indigenous trade in the Indian Ocean. In the second half of the eighteenth century, Oman broke free from foreign political control and became the dominant economic and naval force in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf. This was a golden age for Omanis, when their economic power and political prestige were at their height. This study, first published in 1986, presents a detailed, comprehensive history of this important period, and includes tribal politics, the role of religion, and Oman's relations with neighbouring areas such as Persia and East Africa. The era ends with the political and maritime pressures exerted on Oman by Britain and France, and the territorial pressures exerted by the Wahhabi Arabians.