• The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean See large image

    The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean (Hardback) By (author) David S. H. Abulafia

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    DescriptionThis title is "Sunday Times" History Book of the Year. For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of world civilisation. From the time of historical Troy until the middle of the nineteenth century, human activity here decisively shaped much of the course of world history. David Abulafia's "The Great Sea" is the first complete history of the Mediterranean from the erection of the mysterious temples on Malta around 3500 BC to the recent reinvention of the Mediterranean's shores as a tourist destination. Part of the argument of Abulafia's book is that the great port cities - Alexandria, Trieste and Salonika and many others - prospered in part because of their ability to allow many different people, religions and identities to co-exist within sometimes very confined spaces. He also brilliantly populates his history with identifiable individuals whose lives illustrate with great immediacy the wider developments he is describing. "The Great Sea" ranges stupendously across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Jaffa, Venice to Alexandria. Rather than imposing a false unity on the sea and the teeming human activity it has sustained, the book emphasises diversity - ethnic, linguistic, religious and political. Anyone who reads it will leave it with their understanding of those societies and their histories enormously enriched.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Great Sea

    Title
    The Great Sea
    Subtitle
    A Human History of the Mediterranean
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) David S. H. Abulafia
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 816
    Width: 170 mm
    Height: 242 mm
    Thickness: 54 mm
    Weight: 1,379 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780713999341
    ISBN 10: 0713999349
    Classifications

    BIC subject category V2: HBG
    BIC E4L: HIS
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.0
    BISAC V2.8: HIS037000
    Ingram Theme: CULT/WEUROP
    BIC subject category V2: HBJQ
    Ingram Subject Code: NA
    Ingram Theme: CULT/EEUROP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS010010, SCI052000, HIS010020, NAT025000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 909.09822
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Thema V1.0: NHB, NHD, NHQ
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1DT, 1DD
    Illustrations note
    24 pages colour
    Publisher
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    ALLEN LANE
    Publication date
    05 May 2011
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    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 Solidarieta Italiana in recognition of his work on Italian and Mediterranean history.
    Review quote
    The greatest living historian of the Mediterranean -- Andrew Roberts A towering achievement. No review can really do justice to the scale of Abulafia's achievement: in its epic sweep, eye for detail and lucid style. -- Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times Brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship, the overall effect is mesmerising. -- Ian Thomson Independent A memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail. -- Jonathan Keates Sunday Telegraph The story is teeming with colourful characters, and Abulafia wears his scholarship lightly, even dashingly. -- Simon Sebag Montefiore Financial Times