Photo of Emeritus Professor Dionisius  A. Agius FBA

Emeritus Professor Dionisius A. Agius FBA

Research Interests

My primary research interests include:

Islamic material culture and heritage; maritime ethnography; cultural and historical geography; Arabic language contact and Medieval Arabic narratology
 
Research

Objects are active agents helping to shape people the way they are. It is this people-object-world combination that is integral to the human mind and language. The key question to my study is why objects are called the way they are? My search into the use of Arabic and material culture is an inquiry into communities, social, technical, political and religious conditions. It is about the identity of a people, their language and culture, demonstrating their specialized skills and artistic imagination to produce objects of use within their community and the outside world. With this in mind my research for the past forty years has been devoted to the study of the maritime cultural landscape of the Arabian Gulf and Oman and the African and Arabian Red Sea.

For more information, see profile.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Supervision

In his research Professor D. A. Agius shows that objects are active agents helping to shape people the way they are. It is this people-object-world combination that is integral to the human mind and language. The key question to his study is why objects are called the way they are? His search into the use of Arabic and Materail Culture is an inquiry into communities, social, technical, political and religious conditions. It is about the identity of a people, their language and culture, demonstrating their specialised skills and artistic imagination to produce objects of use within their community and the outside world. With this in mind his research for the past thirty years has been devoted to the study of ship-types of the Arab Mediterranean and Arabian Indian Ocean, the language of the coastal and seafaring communities, ship-building, navigational techniques and winds and currents; in addition, his study entails a great deal of archival work, pictorial evidence and maps.

Research Students

  • Harriet Nash (AHRC grand holder) PhD
    Star gazing in traditional water management: A case study in Northrn Oman”.
  • Jamila Abulgase PhD
    "The medieval Sub-Sahara of the Songhay Empire (870-977/1464-1591): a study on the social life through unpublished documents".
  • Suhanna Shafiq MPhil
    "Buzurg ibn Shahriyar: ninth-century Arabic nautical terminology of the Indian Ocean".
  • Stavros Panayiotou MPhil
    "Arab-Byzantine relations in the Medieval Mediterranean: the protraits of Leo of Tripoli and Damianah of Tyre according to primary sources".