Geography, Technology, and War : Studies in the Maritime History of the Mediterranean, 649-1571
When maritime transport and communication depended on muscle and wind-power, the Mediterranean Sea functioned as a symbiotic force between the civilisations which surrounded it, at once the major dividing barrier and the major connecting element. In this study, the technological limitations of maritime traffic are considered in conjunction with the peculiar geographical conditions within which it operated, and which led to the establishment of major sea lanes on trunk routes along which traffic could move safely, efficiently, and economically. These trunk routes remained virtually unchanged from antiquity to the sixteenth century, and eventually constituted economic and strategic maritime frontiers between civilisations. At the same time, the technological limitations of the oared galley meant that coasts and islands along the trunk routes had also to be held, a necessity which favoured geographically the Christian West over the world of Byzantium and Islam.
- Electronic book text
- 11 May 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 31 b/w illus. 3 tables
Table of contents
Introduction; 1. The sea; 2. The ships; 3. Navigation: the routes and their implications; 4. The ninth and tenth centuries: Islam, Byzantium, and the West; 5. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries: the Crusader states; 6. Maritime traffic: the guerre de cours; 7. The Turks; 8. Epilogue: the Barbary corsairs; 9. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
'... a useful and scholarly book which brings together an imposing mass of information about shipping in the medieval Mediterranean ... this is a study which all interested in the medieval and early modern history of the Mediterranean will find of value.' The Times Higher Education Supplement '... a serious study which has the merit of recording the gaps which must be filled concerning the seamen of the Middle Ages in order to give us a complete panorama ...' Mariner's Mirror ' ... a powerful example of the usefulness of making a careful study of technical and geographical influences in history.' History ' ... an excellent addition to both naval history and the history of technology ...' International History Review