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The Mediterranean in History

David Abulafia, Oliver Rackham


A complete and up-to-date overview of Mediterranean history from 1000 to the end of the 20th century

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For over four thousand years the Mediterranean was the centre of Western civilization: the meeting-place of Europe, Asia and Africa, the battleground of states and nations, and the focus of three major religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. David Abulafia, acclaimed scholar of the Mediterranean and winner of the 2020 Wolfson History Prize, has brought together a distinguished team of specialists to tell the enthralling and complex story of this influential region.

This sweeping account of the Mediterranean ranges from prehistoric traders, the struggle between Phoenicians, Greeks and Etruscans ending in Roman victory, to the Christian and Islamic powers, domination by England and France, and finally the twentieth century, transformed by war and mass tourism. Incorporating recent research, from linguistics to underwater archaeology, and a fresh emphasis on the role of the individual in shaping events, this is a compelling history of Mediterranean civilizations and the sea that connected them.

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'A masterful overview of Mediterranean history'
Journal of Greek Archaeology

'A terrific resource for students or for those just interested in the history of the region'
Timeless Travels

'Deftly stitched together'
Current World Archaeology

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 6 May 2021

ISBN: 9780500296219

Contents List

What is the Mediterranean?, David Abulafia • The Physical Setting, Oliver Rackham • The First Trading Empires: Prehistory to c.1000 BC, Marlene Suano • The Battle for the Sea Routes: 1000–300BC, Mario Torelli • The Creation of Mare Nostrum:300BC–500AD, Geoffrey Rickman • The Mediterranean breaks up: 500 – 1000, John Pryor • A Christian Mediterranean: 1000 – 1500, Michel Balard • Resurgent Islam: 1500 – 1700, Molly Greene • The Mediterranean as a Battleground of the European Powers: 1700–1900, Jeremy Black • A Globalized Mediterranean: 1900 – 2000, David Abulafia

About the Author

David Abulafia has been Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge since 2000 and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge since 1974. He is the author of many books, including the award-winning The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean.

List of Contributors

Marlene Suano, Mario Torelli, Geoffrey Rickman, John Pryor, Michel Balard, Molly Greene, Jeremy Black