October 17, 2020   |   by admin

The Great Sea by David Abulafia – review. David Abulafia’s history of the Mediterranean takes in ancient empires and modern tourists. 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. The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean is an award-winning book by the British historian David Abulafia. First published in , it is a history of.

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Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. 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. The collapse of the Roman Empire and the end of Mare Nostrum did reduce the shipping in the western half, but the Eastern Roman Empire survived. Akdeniz – the battle for the White Sea 5: Grezt the future of the Mediterranean Sea – and as this book makes clear, its influence is undoubtedly in decline in many ways – Abulafia has produced a detailed and readable overview of the region’s tje past, covering its joys and its tragedies, its achievements and its failures, its happy periods of tolerance and its nadirs of violence and persecution.

It’s a large, abluafia, book, covering from prehistory to the current day Good grief finally done. I started it last Friday and could not put it down!

The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia

And although not short of conventional narrative — ancient empires, ambitious medieval city states, modern nations, the lingering end of colonialism, the arrival of refugees and tourists — this is first and foremost a story about trade. Deys, beys and bashaws Part 5: The third and second-to-last chapters are depressing, as they cover the destruction of several multicultural communities in the lead up to WWI through the aftermath of WWII.

Although historians of other “expanses of sea” would no doubt vociferously defend the claims of their own subject in this respect historians have a tendency to be territorial about such thingsProfessor David Abulafia, one of the most respected and established grreat of the Mediterranean world in the Middle Ages, concludes this hefty volume with the claim that avulafia Mediterranean Sea] has played a role in the history th human civilization that has far surpassed any other expanse of sea”.


But it is definitely a mission to get it finished because it goes on forever. The fall and rise of empires hte Smoking Typewriters John McMillian.

Everything is political after all.

Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. What a legacy Professor Abulafia has left the world. Yes, yes, we get it, the place was just lovely in all those simply lovely port cities which were so diverse and cosmopolitan and where abklafia those Greeks and Turks and Jews and Arabs and Albanians and Everyone got along so well and were especially lovely to their neighbours during the race riots, in one memorable paragraph that Abulafia appears to have genuinely missed the irony of completely and how awful that it all stopped with all that sad ugly nationalism business.

This massive tome details the history of the Mediterranean sea, starting with the first known inhabitants and going right up to Nowadays, davdi heritage theme-park aspect of the Mediterranean is rather less important than its myriad attractions as a giant marine leisure centre. Wenamum, an emissary from Karnak in Pharaonic Egypt, cBC, noted that the chief of Byblos, where he had gone to pick up timber, told him to “get out of my harbour!

For example, I learned much abulsfia about the rise of Spain to eventual European dominance in conflict with France, the Italian commercial republics, and the Ottoman Empire. Over the course of nearly pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and tragedy.

The Great Sea – Hardcover – David Abulafia – Oxford University Press

The triumph of the Tyrrhenians 4: Jan 16, Fiona rated it really liked it Shelves: That is the strength of narrative histories that are also thematic.

Ranging across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Abilafia to Jaffa, Genoa to Tunis, For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilization.

Amici e non di ventura’friends and not by chance’. I don’t remember half of it. The role of merchants, pirates, and intellectual wanderers are well developed to show how they made the Mediterranean into an integrated area rather than just an array of kingdoms and states.


For example, some of the more Byzantine interests of the Italian merchant republics in the Ottoman era aren’t clear within A gorgeous mosaic that pleads for the diversity and cultural exchange to which the shores of an inner sea lend themselves so well. The pre-modern world was more modern than we often think. I could of course go on in the hope that it will improve.

For another example, the author did a good job in showing how the maritime life of the Mediterranean was important in how countries developed — such as why Northern Italy prospered and moved into manufacturing and high value added enterprises while Southern Italy did not.

The Great Sea by David Abulafia: review

To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. But that was minor. This is your must-take holiday read for the summer.

After being told for so long that history is not abulafi affair of episodes and personalities, most readers will be relieved to discover that in the annals of the Mediterranean such elements play a not inconsiderable role. Encouragement to others 8: The book also does a good job of showing how the Mediterranean remained connected even during periods of change, though the volume of trade may have been reduced.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. We may have missed World Maritime Day on March 17, but we can still admire the watery wonder of the sea and its peoples. It would be at the same time immensely simplistic and grandiose to say that if one wishes to understand the Mediterranean as it is, one must first understand what is has been through the ages.

Can its positive energies ever be recaptured? To ask other readers questions about The Great Seaplease sign up. I don’t think Abulafia has the narrative touch nor the understanding of some aspects of the Levant that Phillip Mansel does.