Great Sea,The

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For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilization. David Abulafia's The Great Sea is the first complete history of the Mediterranean, from the erection of temples on Malta around 3500 BC to modern tourism. Ranging across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Jaffa, Genoa to Tunis, and bringing to life pilgrims, pirates, sultans and naval commanders, this is the story of the sea that has ...

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Overview

For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilization. David Abulafia's The Great Sea is the first complete history of the Mediterranean, from the erection of temples on Malta around 3500 BC to modern tourism. Ranging across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Jaffa, Genoa to Tunis, and bringing to life pilgrims, pirates, sultans and naval commanders, this is the story of the sea that has shaped much of world history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Known as the "Corrupting Sea" for the way the dense web of commercial relationships spanning its shores inexorably changes local cultures, the Mediterranean has seen the rise and fall of many of the world's great empires, aided in the spread and propagation of the three great monotheistic faiths, and carried countless millions of immigrants and adventurers to a new life or a watery grave. This epic tome by Abulafia, a professor of Mediterranean history at Cambridge, is a political history of the Liquid Continent—another of the sea's monikers—tracing how the spread of ideas, goods, cultures, and armies across the sea has helped shape the modern world. Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region. In such an expansive work, however, occasional frustration regarding the rapidly changing cast of thousands is inevitable, and nearly every page contains minor details deserving their own entire books. Abulafia's central thesis, that human cultures shape their own destinies rather than live beholden to the currents, climate patterns, and natural ecosystems described by Fernand Braudel, the other great chronicler of the Mediterranean, is convincing. Maps. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141027555
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Pages: 816
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Meet the Author

David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College, and was until recently Chairman of the Cambridge History Faculty. His previous books include Frederick II and The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, and in 2003 was made Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della SolidarietĂ  Italiana in recognition of his work on Italian and Mediterranean history.

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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

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