The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World

The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World


By (author) John Disney Professor of Archaeology Cyprian Broodbank


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Format: Hardback | 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 188mm x 251mm x 51mm | 2,223g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0199999783
  • ISBN 13: 9780199999781
  • Sales rank: 489,783

Product description

The Mediterranean has been for millennia one of the global cockpits of human endeavor. World-class interpretations exist of its Classical and subsequent history, but there has been remarkably little holistic exploration of how its societies, culture and economies first came into being, despite the fact that almost all the fundamental developments originated well before 500 BC. This book is the first full, interpretive synthesis for a generation on the rise of the Mediterranean world from its beginning, before the emergence of our own species, up to the threshold of Classical times, by which time the "Middle Sea" was already in effect made. Thanks to unrivalled depth and breadth of exploration, Mediterranean archaeology is one of the world's richest sources for the reconstruction of ancient societies. This book is the first to draw in equal measure on ideas and information from the European, western Asian and African flanks, as well as the islands at the Mediterranean's heart, to achieve a truly innovative focus on the varied trajectories and interactions that created this maritime world. The Mediterranean combines unusual conditions in a strictly unique fashion that goes a long way towards explaining its precocious development: it is the world's largest inland sea, easily the largest of the five challenging, opportunity-rich "mediterraneoid" environments on the planet, and adjacent to the riverine cores of two of the earliest civilizations, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. No wonder its societies proved exceptional. Extensively illustrated and ranging across disciplines, subject matter and chronology from early humans and the origins of farming and metallurgy to the rise of civilizations--Egyptian, Levantine, Hispanic, Minoan, Mycenaean, Phoenician, Etruscan, early Greek--the book is a masterpiece of archaeological and historical writing.

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Author information

Cyprian Broodbank is John Disney Professor of Archaeology at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and the author of An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades (winner of the 2002 AIA James R. Wiseman award).

Review quote

"Best since Braudel." --Tyler Cowen, The New York Times Magazine "The Making of the Middle Sea offers an invaluable and beautifully illustrated resource, incomparable in its scope, depth and originality. Broodbank's narrative style is compelling and intelligent, making the book widely accessible, from undergraduate student to specialist, to anyone interested in the Mediterranean over the five million years from the formation of the 'Middle Sea' to the dawn of the Classical worldEL. Broodbank's is the most remarkable achievement in Mediterranean history since Braudel published The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. Like Braudel, Broodbank treats prehistory as history and The Making of the Middle Sea is set to become the standard work in this field. Its Mediterranean-wide scope will transform the way scholars think about their specialisation." --A. Bernard Knapp, History Today "The Making of the Middle Sea is a massive, well-illustrated tome of interest to anyone who cares about where our world came from, and reads history for clues of where we might be headed."--David Luhrssen, Milwaukee Express "An outstanding book: the best contribution to Mediterranean history in the sixty-plus years since Braudel's 'The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II.' I suspect that this is immediately going to become the standard work and will transform the way we think about the prehistoric and ancient Mediterranean." --Ian Morris, Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and Professor of History, Stanford University, and author of Why the West Rules -- For Now "Cyprian Broodbank gives us a masterly synthesis of the complex narratives of the deeper Mediterranean past based on a dazzling array of information from many disciplines. This is the Middle Sea brought alive through its people and its natural history, a brilliant 'longue duree' that shows us just how much Greece, Rom