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The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

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The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Situated at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millenia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In The Great Sea, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters--sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims--who have crossed and recrossed it.

Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all the history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together," exemplified in medieval Spain, where Christian theologians studied Arabic texts with the help of Jewish and Muslim scholars, and traceable throughout the history of the region.

Brilliantly written and sweeping in its scope, The Great Sea is itself as varied and inclusive as the region it describes, covering everything from the Trojan War, the history of piracy, and the great naval battles between Carthage and Rome to the Jewish Diaspora into Hellenistic worlds, the rise of Islam, the Grand Tours of the 19th century, and mass tourism of the 20th. It is, in short, a magnum opus, the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.

Synopsis:

Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In this brilliant and expansive book, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.

Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together."

Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.

About the Author

David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University and the author of The Mediterranean in History.

Table of Contents

Part 1: THE FIRST MEDITERRANEAN

1: Isolation and insulation: island communities before metal

2: Copper and Bronze

3: Merchants and Heroes

4: Sea Peoples and Land Peoples

Part 2: THE SECOND MEDITERRANEAN

1: The purple traders

2: The heirs of Odysseus

3: The triumph of the Tyrrhenians

4: Towards the Garden of the Hesperides

5: Thalassocracies

6: The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean

7: 'Carthage must be destroyed'

8: 'Our Sea'

9: Old and new faiths

10: Dis-Integration

Part 3: THE THIRD MEDITERRANEAN

1: Mediterranean troughs

2: Crossing the Boundaries

3: The great sea-change

4: 'The profit that God shall give'

5: Ways across the Sea

6: The fall and rise of empires

7: Merchants, mercenaries and missionaries

8: Serrata - Closing

Part 4: THE FOURTH MEDITERRANEAN

1. Would-be Roman emperors

2. Transformations in the West

3: Holy Leagues and unholy alliances

4: Akdeniz - the battle for the White Sea

5: Interlopers in the Mediterranean

6: Diasporas in despair

7: Encouragement to others

8: Views through the Russian prism

9: Deys, beys and bashaws

Part 5: THE FIFTH MEDITERRANEAN

1: Ever the twain shall meet

2: The Greek and the unGreek

3: Ottoman exit

4: A tale of four and a half cities

5: Mare Nostrum - again

6: A fragmented Mediterranean

7: The Last Mediterranean

Appendix: The physical Mediterranean

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199315994
Author:
Abulafia, David
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
World History-European History General
Subject:
Europe - Western
Subject:
History, World | European
Subject:
Europe - Eastern
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 x 16pp color inserts
Pages:
816
Dimensions:
5.4 x 8.2 x 2.2 in 1.9 lb

Related Subjects

» Featured Titles » History and Social Science
» History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient History
» History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
» History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
» History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
» History and Social Science » World History » European History General

The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean New Trade Paper
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Product details 816 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199315994 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In this brilliant and expansive book, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.

Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together."

Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.

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