The Great Sea by David Abulafia – review. David Abulafia’s history of the Mediterranean takes in ancient empires and modern tourists. For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilization. David Abulafia’s The Great Sea is the first complete. The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean is an award-winning book by the British historian David Abulafia. First published in , it is a history of.

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I’ve sailed, over teh years, round large stretches of it, and have everywhere been struck by the similarity of coastal cultures in every harbour and port I’ve seen. While the author is very learned, he is also very wise and strikes a good balance between detail and general themes.

David Abulafia is professor of Mediterranean history at Cambridge and in this book he sets out the presence of the people who have lived around the Mediterranean from around BC to AD. While the range of detail impresses and informs, it inevitably dilutes the focus of the history and frustrates the author’s attempts to evoke discernible main themes.

I think this is a book it would do most people good to read, because it fits things together and gives perspective — really, in sfa book that covers three thousand years and the entire Mediterranean there are going to be bits everyone isn’t familiar with.

It was a rather interesting story. Dead centre sits Jerusalem, marked rather optimistically, since it was at the time under Mamluk rule vreat an eye-catching cross. I would’ve loved for there to be more discussion of culture – how ideas and beliefs and art crossed the seas and mixed with other cultures.

The Mycenaean civilization aulafia destroyed so thoroughly that the Greeks forgot how to writethe king of Ugarit wrote a frantic letter for aid on a clay tablet but the city was crushed into dust before it could be fired and delivered, the Hittite Empire collapsed and its capital was burned to the ground and never reoccupied, Troy was burned twice, and in Egypt the Pharaoh wrote about previously unknown “Sea Peoples” which had attacked Egypt and were defeated in battle While the book is fairly long, it is very well written and is structured in short, highly accessible sections that pull you from one topic to the next.


It’s another that I’ll always have on my bookshelf to dip into when I want to look something up or read about a particular place or period. Towards the Garden of the Hesperides 5: Encouragement to others 8: The great Asian and African civilisations of the early bronze age had been largely confined to the alluvial river valleys created in the wake of the ice age: Science and nature books Geography reviews.

Everything the author writes is probably academically sound, but it’s incredibly dull reading. My biggest concern was that this would be a huge survey that did not hold together well – a sort of mega cliffs notes.

Environmentalism gets a look in, but it’s almost green washing. Previously, I thought travelling in those times was only undertaken by dare-devils and explorers. I give this book my highest recommendation. Perhaps it is the fate of all histories to be judged as much by what they omit abulaffia what they include.

Mare Nostrum – again 6: The Gdeat and the unGreek 3: I read this book at the same time as the newer book “The Silk Roads” from Frankopan and compared them. I didn’t know this: I feel weird saying this, since this book is nearly pages long, but I finished reading it and felt unsatisfied. This massive tome details the history of the Mediterranean sea, starting with the first known inhabitants and going right up to This might not be such a bad thing, rhe.

There were too few, with too few labels, and I had to have a historical atlas constantly at my side.

Empires rise and fall, great cities wax and wane; but for the west at any rate, the major constant from antiquity to at least the 16th century was the sea whose name even now pronounces it the centre Latin abulacia of the world terra.


The Great Sea – Hardcover – David Abulafia – Oxford University Press

I had not known of the ancient ruins on Malta, nor the entire nature of Allied frustrations dealing with French North Africa. The first Neanderthal bones were actually found much earlier than the ones in the Neander Valley; “Neanderthal Man” grest really be called “Gibraltar Woman”.

Aggiungo che Abulafia critica greah Braudel e la sua visione geografica della storia che relega in un angolino i fatterelli umani vedendoli come thr “eventi” privi di importanza: What facts become important, which aspects of human civilisation will feature, and why? That was when I got irritated enough to stop reading. This is actual stuff about actual stuff, and I find it interesting. Old and new faiths I was deeply unhappy with the maps.

What this book continually emphasises is the repeated failure of individual nations, empires or faiths to gain mastery over the Mediterranean.

I’m already looking forward to rereading it in a few years.

Second, and this criticism is specific to the e-book editionthe book uses many maps that do not render well and are difficult to enlarge.

Accessibility abulafa Skip to article Skip to navigation. The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean 7: Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean

Maybe it’s because of the book’s format. Getting lost amidst the marbles. The martyred George, after all, achieved his ill-authenticated sainthood not far from Jaffa in modern Israel, and ths red-cross banner, adorning pubs and cars on April 23, was purchased as a flag of convenience from medieval Genoese merchants.

I had, at first, cocked an eyebrow at the book’s subtitle — surely the word “human” is redundant? As part of abjlafia narrative, Professor Abulafia includes information about people whose lives illuminate the developments he is describing: