By David Abulafia

ISBN-10: 0195323343

ISBN-13: 9780195323344

Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia where the place religions, economies, and political platforms met, clashed, encouraged and absorbed each other. during this really good and expansive ebook, David Abulafia deals a clean standpoint by way of targeting the ocean itself: its functional significance for shipping and sustenance; its dynamic function within the upward push and fall of empires; and the striking solid of characters-sailors, retailers, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.

Ranging from prehistory to the twenty first century, the good Sea is particularly a historical past of human interplay. Interweaving significant political and naval advancements with the ebb and circulate of alternate, Abulafia explores how advertisement pageant within the Mediterranean created either rivalries and partnerships, with retailers performing as intermediaries among cultures, buying and selling items that have been as unique on one part of the ocean as they have been standard at the different. He stresses the awesome skill of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing excellent of convivencia, "living together."

Now to be had in paperback, the nice Sea is the definitive account of possibly the main vivid theater of human interplay in history.

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Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia where the place religions, economies, and political structures met, clashed, encouraged and absorbed each other. during this remarkable and expansive ebook, David Abulafia deals a clean standpoint through targeting the ocean itself: its functional significance for delivery and sustenance; its dynamic position within the upward thrust and fall of empires; and the striking solid of characters-sailors, retailers, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.

Ranging from prehistory to the twenty first century, the good Sea is specifically a background of human interplay. Interweaving significant political and naval advancements with the ebb and circulation of alternate, Abulafia explores how advertisement pageant within the Mediterranean created either rivalries and partnerships, with retailers performing as intermediaries among cultures, buying and selling items that have been as unique on one aspect of the ocean as they have been usual at the different. He stresses the extraordinary skill of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing excellent of convivencia, "living together."

Now on hand in paperback, the nice Sea is the definitive account of possibly the main bright theater of human interplay in background.

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Additional info for The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

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One might then expect evidence of warfare – spearheads, for instance. 15 Malta and Gozo were perhaps sacred islands that commanded the respect of the peoples of the central Mediterranean, rather like Delos in the classical Greek world. A hole in a slab in the temple at Tarxien may be proof that this was the site of an oracle. Yet it is remarkable that so little evidence has been found of foreign visitors. If these were sacred islands, part of their sacredness must 11 T h e Fi rs t M e d i t e r r a n e a n , 2 2 0 0 0 B C – 1 0 0 0 B C have consisted in a rule that they were unapproachable, inhabited only by native Maltese in the service of the Great Goddess, who was represented not just in the statues and figurines the Maltese carved, but in the very shape of the temples, with their billowing exterior and womb-like internal passages.

Seals in pictographic writing begin to appear from about 1900 onwards, so the development of a script seems to coincide quite neatly with the first phase of palacebuilding. By the end of the Old Palace period, large numbers of documents were pouring forth: inventories of goods received or stored, including tribute from those working the land to be paid to the ruler or deities of Knossos. The main function of writing was to maintain accounts; and behind the scribes there was evidently an efficient and demanding administration.

But, although they were not imitations, neither did they become models followed by other cultures within the Mediterranean. Malta was settled by about 5700 BC, from Africa or more likely from Sicily, whose culture is reflected in the earliest Maltese rock-cut tombs. The early Maltese arrived quite well prepared: they brought with them emmer, barley and lentils, and they cleared parts of the island to create cultivable fields, for the archipelago had extensive tree cover, now completely lost. They acquired tools from the volcanic islands around Sicily, employing obsidian from Pantelleria and Lipari.

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


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