The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jun 1, 2011 - Science - 816 pages
4 Reviews
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

Superb, superb, superb. A keeper for the rest of my life, a book I will dip in and out of, I am certain, many many times (have now read cover-to-cover twice) before I lay aside. I am an Asia historian ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hae-Yu - LibraryThing

Contains a wealth of information that I did not know. By using the Mediterranean as his focus, swaths of history that are normally in separate silos are brought together much more coherently - such as ... Read full review

Contents

List of Illustrations
System of Transliteration and Dating
Preface
A Sea with Many Names
PART ONE The First Mediterranean 22000 BC1000
Mediterranean Troughs 600900
lv
Crossing the Boundaries between Christendom and Islam 900
vi
The Profit That God Shall Give 11001200
xi
Ever the Twain Shall Meet 18301900
xlvi
The Greek and the unGreek 18301920
lxi
Ottoman Exit 19001918
lxxi
A Tale of Four and a Half Cities 19001950
diii
Mare Nostrum Again 19181945
viii
The Last Mediterranean 19502010
x
Further Reading
75
Isolation and Insulation 22000 BC3000
1

Ways across the Sea 11601185
xxvi
The Fall and Rise of Empires 11301260
ii
Merchants Mercenaries and Missionaries 12201300
viii
Serrata Closing 12911350
iii
Wouldbe Roman Emperors 13501480
iii
Transformations in the West 13911500
xii
Holy Leagues and Unholy Alliances 15001550
xxix
Akdeniz the Battle for the White Sea 15501571
xliv
Interlopers in the Mediterranean 15711650
lxvi
Diasporas in Despair 15601700
lxxxii
Encouragement to Others 16501780
xcviii
The View through the Russian Prism 17601805
xii
Deys Beys and Bashaws 18001830
xxix
Copper and Bronze 3000 BC1500
1
Merchants and Heroes 1500 BC1250
1
Sea Peoples and Land Peoples 1250 BC1100
1
PART TWO The Second Mediterranean 1000 BCAD 600
1
The Heirs of Odysseus 800 BC550
1
The Triumph of the Tyrrhenians 800 BC400
1
Towards the Garden of the Hesperides 1000 BC400
1
Thalassocracies 550 BC400
1
The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean 350 BC100
1
Carthage Must Be Destroyed 400 BC146
1
Our Sea 146 BCAD 150
1
Old and New Faiths AD 1450
1
Index
29

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

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

Bibliographic information