Mozambique Island: the rise and decline of an East African coastal city, 1500-1700.

Port-cities, it has been claimed, have special characteristicswhich distinguish them from other urban centres. This special characteris derived from their situation at the point where economies andsocieties based on the mainland meet the societies and economies ofother countries beyond the seas. Port-cities have both a foreland (othercountries beyond the seas) and a hinterland (the country where they arephysically situated). Very often the people who inhabit the port-citieshave strong ties in both these directions and derive their specialcharacter from the interaction of the two. This paper looks at thehistory of Mozambique Island--a port-city which became one of the mostimportant centres of