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Received knowledge of the Indian Ocean is based on Western primary sources, most of which date to the early modern and modern periods. Although often providing valuable observations, these sources are ultimately ethnocentric. This chapter presents and analyzes some of the most valuable sources in non-Western languages that are available in translation, many of which date to before 1500 CE. These include Arabic and Malay chronicles, Arab and Persian travelers’ accounts, and various sources in Chinese. While all primary sources must be read critically, these open important pathways into the place of the Indian Ocean in world history.

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