In this richly illustrated volume, eight distinguished historians explore the facts, themes, and epochs of the history of the "Great Sea": the physical setting; the rivalry between Carthaginians, Greeks, and Etruscans for control of sea routes; unification under Rome and the subsequent break up into Western Christendom, Byzantium, and Islam; the Crusades; commerce in medieval times; the Ottoman resurgence; the rivalry of European powers from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries; and the globalization of the region in the last century.
The book departs from the traditional view of Mediterranean history with its emphasis on the influences of physical geography. Instead it regards physical context as a staging ground for decisive action with, at center stage, human catalysts at all levels of society—from great kings and emperors to the sailors of medieval Amalfi to the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. The authors describe how these groups interacted with one another across the sea, enjoying commercial and political ties as well as sharing ideas and religious beliefs.
David Abulafia is professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge.
Praise for the hardcover edition:
"The illustrations are magnificent and not just decorative, but mesh intelligently with the text." —The London Sunday Times
"A superb resource for personal enrichment and an acclaimed contribution to both academic and community library shelves." —Library Bookwatch
320 pages 8 5/8 x 11 inches 150 color and 150 b/w illustrations ISBN 978-1-60606-057-5 paperback