Great Sea A Human History of the Mediterranean

ISBN-10: 019931599X

ISBN-13: 9780199315994

Edition: N/A

Authors: David Abulafia

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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.
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Book details

List price: $27.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 816
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 2.25" tall
Weight: 2.222
Language: English

List of Illustrations
System of Transliteration and Dating
Introduction: A Sea with Many Names
The First Mediterranean, 22000 BC-1000 BC
Isolation and Insulation, 22000 BC-3000 BC
Copper and Bronze, 3000 BC-1000 BC
Merchants and Heroes, 1500 BC-1250 BC
Sea Peoples and Land Peoples, 1250 BC-1100 BC
The Second Mediterranean, 1000 BC-AD 600
The Purple Traders, 1000 BC-700 BC
The Heirs of Odysseus, 800 BC-550 BC
The Triumph of the Tyrrhenians, 800 BC-400 BC
Towards the Garden of the Hesperides, 1000 BC-400 BC
Thalassocracies, 550 BC-400 BC
The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean, 350 BC-100 BC
'Carthage Must Be Destroyed', 400 BC-146 BC
'Our Sea', 146 BC-AD 150
Old and New Faiths, AD 1-450
Dis-integration, 400-600
The Third Mediterranean, 600-1350
Mediterranean Troughs, 600-900
Crossing the Boundaries between Christendom and Islam, 900-1050
The Great Sea-change, 1000-1100
'The Profit That God Shall Give', 1100-1200
Ways across the Sea, 1160-1185
The Fall and Rise of Empires, 1130-1260
Merchants, Mercenaries and Missionaries, 1220-1300
Serrata - Closing, 1291-1350
The Fourth Mediterranean, 1350-1830
Would-be Roman Emperors, 1350-1480
Transformations in the West, 1391-1500
Holy Leagues and Unholy Alliances, 1500-1550
Akdeniz - the Battle for the White Sea, 1550-1571
Interlopers in the Mediterranean, 1571-1650
Diasporas in Despair, 1560-1700
Encouragement to Others, 1650-1780
The View through the Russian Prism, 1760-1805
Deys, Beys and Bashaws, 1800-1830
The Fifth Mediterranean, 1830-2010
Ever the Twain Shall Meet, 1830-1900
The Greek and the unGreek, 1830-1920
Ottoman Exit, 1900-1918
A Tale of Four and a Half Cities, 1900-1950
Mare Nostrum - Again, 1918-1945
A Fragmented Mediterranean, 1945-1990
The Last Mediterranean, 1950-2010
Conclusion: Crossing the Sea
Further Reading
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