The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean

The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean

Paperback

By (author) John Julius Norwich

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 688 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 198mm x 34mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 7 August 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844133087
  • ISBN 13: 9781844133086
  • Illustrations note: 32 pp colour and b/w illustrations; 8 maps
  • Sales rank: 48,736

Product description

The Mediterranean has nurtured three of the most dazzling civilisations of antiquity, witnessed the birth or growth of three of our greatest religions and links three of the world's six continents. To the peoples living around its periphery, it has served at various times as a cradle and a grave, a bond and a barrier, a blessing and a battlefield. It has inspired writers from Homer and Virgil to Norman Douglas and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Geographically, it is unlike any other sea in the world; in historical importance also, it stands alone. John Julius Norwich has visited every country around its shores; he has written histories of Norman Sicily, of Venice and of Byzantium. Now at last he tells the story of the Middle Sea itself - a story that begins with the Phoenicians and the Pharaohs and ends with the Treaty of Versailles. He takes us through the Arab conquests of Syria and North Africa; the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades; Ferdinand and Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition; the great sieges of Rhodes and Malta by the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent; the pirates of the Barbary Coast and the Battle of Lepanto; Nelson and Napoleon; the Greek War of Independence and the Italian Risorgimento. The story ends with the tragic Gallipoli campaign and the war in the desert which brought fame to the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence.

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Author information

John Julius Norwich is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently,The Popes: A History. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.

Review quote

"Norwich is a superb narrative historian...With Norwich on the Mediterranean we sense that we are accompanied by an old friend. You can take your Blue Guide, or your Rough Guide, anywhere you like; but if you are planning to go anywhere south of the Alps and north of the Sahara...this is your book" -- Jason Goodwin Literary Review "An expertly paced, occasionally exhilarating read. It may even prove a landmark in popular history-telling...a splendid achievement for its memorable scope and vitality... This wonderfully riveting history reveals our favourite holiday destination in all its glorious, epic depth" -- Jeremy Seal Sunday Telegraph "He spices his narrative liberally with entertaining anecdotes, deft portraits and brisk judgements... Lord Norwich's control of his vast and complex subject matter is masterly. And the subject matter itself is a colourful as history can get" The Economist "Infectiously enthusiastic" Scotsman