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The Great Sea
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About the Author


David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University and the author of The Mediterranean in History.

Reviews


"This magnificent book... is teeming with colourful characters. Over the course of nearly 800pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and tragedy. But at its heart, this is a history of mankind - gripping, worldly, bloody, playful - that radiates scholarship and a sense of wonder and fun, using the Mediterranean as its medium, its watery road much travelled." -- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Financial Times


"This memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail, celebrates the swirling changeability at the heart of that wonderful symbiosis of man and nature which once took place long Mediterranean shores" -- Jonathan Keates, The Sunday Telegraph

"An Everest of a book, brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship...the effect is mesmerising, as detail accumulates meticulously." -- Ian Thomson, The Independent

"David Abulafia's marvellous history of the Mediterranean is an excellent corrective to oversimplified views of geopolitics." -- The Economist
"New, highly impressive book...magisterial work..." -- Prospect
"Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region." -- Publishers Weekly

"This monumental and extraordinarily rich book stands alongside Braudel, Horden, and Purcell's works as one of the seminal works on the history of the Mediterranean and on world history. This is truly a major achievement, a great book by a truly great historian." --Teofilo F. Ruiz, UCLA
"A superbly panoramic blend of political, social, and environmental history that simultaneously situates the physical reality of the Mediterranean in the reader's mind and its



"This magnificent book ...is teeming with colourful characters. Over the course of nearly 800pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and tragedy. But at its heart, this is a history of mankind - gripping, worldly, bloody, playful - that radiates scholarship and a sense of wonder and fun, using the Mediterranean as its medium, its watery road much travelled." -- Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Financial Times


"This memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail, celebrates the swirling changeability at the heart of that wonderful symbiosis of man and nature which once took place long Mediterranean shores" -- Jonathan Keates, The Sunday Telegraph

"An Everest of a book, brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship...the effect is mesmerising, as detail accumulates meticulously." -- Ian Thomson, The Independent

"David Abulafia's marvellous history of the Mediterranean is an excellent corrective to oversimplified views of geopolitics." -- The Economist

"New, highly impressive book...magisterial work..." -- Prospect
"Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region." -- Publishers Weekly

"Abulafia writes in a popular style with an eye for interesting sidelights on history, such as the backdating of the Trojan War by Homer and Virgil, and quirky asides about modern Mediterranean culture...this comprehensive, scholarly study contains much food for thought." -- Kirkus

"A comprehensive, fair-minded history." -- The National Interest
"The Great Sea deserves a place on the shelf next to Braudel's classic work." -- Shelf Awareness

"David Abulafia's new book about the Mediterranean Sea, The Great Sea, has everything a major work of history requires. An important theme, solid research, magnificent writing and a perceptive insight into human nature...As an introduction to this story - and as a cautionary tale of what happens when the darkness in the human soul crowds out the light - there is no better place to start than David Abulafia's The Great Sea." - The California Literary Review

"For both specialists and interested general readers, this book will be a treasure and become the standard work on the topic." -- Booklist Online
"Book of the Year" selection, History category -- he Economist
"David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University, brings historians and interested readers the ultimate biography of this unique sea, as seen and used and experienced by the people who lived and still live on its long coastline."-- Bookbanter

"This magnificent history, at once sweeping and precise, spans the period from 22,000 B.C. to 2010 A.D. to explicate the history of human activity on and around the Mediterranean Sea... [Abulafia] is a superb writer with a gift for lucid compression and an eye for the telling detail...He has taken on a grand subject, and has related and interpreted it with authority, exactitude, and verve. His work deserves a wide and appreciative audience." -- The Atlantic



"This magnificent book ...is teeming with colourful characters. Over the course of nearly 800pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and tragedy. But at its heart, this is a history of mankind - gripping, worldly, bloody, playful - that radiates scholarship and a sense of wonder and fun, using the Mediterranean as its medium, its watery road much travelled." -- Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Financial Times

"This memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail, celebrates the swirling changeability at the heart of that wonderful symbiosis of man and nature which once took place long Mediterranean shores" -- Jonathan Keates, The Sunday Telegraph

"An Everest of a book, brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship...the effect is mesmerising, as detail accumulates meticulously." -- Ian Thomson, The Independent

"David Abulafia's marvellous history of the Mediterranean is an excellent corrective to oversimplified views of geopolitics." -- The Economist

"New, highly impressive book...magisterial work..." -- Prospect
"Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region." -- Publishers Weekly

"Abulafia writes in a popular style with an eye for interesting sidelights on history, such as the backdating of the Trojan War by Homer and Virgil, and quirky asides about modern Mediterranean culture...this comprehensive, scholarly study contains much food for thought." -- Kirkus

"A comprehensive, fair-minded history." -- The National Interest
"The Great Sea deserves a place on the shelf next to Braudel's classic work." -- Shelf Awareness

"David Abulafia's new book about the Mediterranean Sea, The Great Sea, has everything a major work of history requires. An important theme, solid research, magnificent writing and a perceptive insight into human nature...As an introduction to this story - and as a cautionary tale of what happens when the darkness in the human soul crowds out the light - there is no better place to start than David Abulafia's The Great Sea." - The California Literary Review

"For both specialists and interested general readers, this book will be a treasure and become the standard work on the topic." -- Booklist Online
"Book of the Year" selection, History category -- he Economist
"David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University, brings historians and interested readers the ultimate biography of this unique sea, as seen and used and experienced by the people who lived and still live on its long coastline."-- Bookbanter

"This magnificent history, at once sweeping and precise, spans the period from 22,000 B.C. to 2010 A.D. to explicate the history of human activity on and around the Mediterranean Sea... [Abulafia] is a superb writer with a gift for lucid compression and an eye for the telling detail...He has taken on a grand subject, and has related and interpreted it with authority, exactitude, and verve. His work deserves a wide and appreciative audience." -- The Atlantic


"This magnificent book...is teeming with colourful characters. Over the course of nearly 800pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and tragedy. But at its heart, this is a history of mankind - gripping, worldly, bloody, playful - that radiates scholarship and a sense of wonder and fun, using the Mediterranean as its medium, its watery road much travelled."--Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Financial Times

"This memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail, celebrates the swirling changeability at the heart of that wonderful symbiosis of man and nature which once took place long Mediterranean shores"--Jonathan Keates, The Sunday Telegraph

"An Everest of a book, brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship...the effect is mesmerising, as detail accumulates meticulously."--Ian Thomson, The Independent

"David Abulafia's marvellous history of the Mediterranean is an excellent corrective to oversimplified views of geopolitics."--The Economist

"New, highly impressive book...magisterial work..."--Prospect
"Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region."--Publishers Weekly

"Abulafia writes in a popular style with an eye for interesting sidelights on history, such as the backdating of the Trojan War by Homer and Virgil, and quirky asides about modern Mediterranean culture...this comprehensive, scholarly study contains much food for thought."--Kirkus

"A comprehensive, fair-minded history."--The National Interest
"The Great Sea deserves a place on the shelf next to Braudel's classic work."--Shelf Awareness

"David Abulafia's new book about the Mediterranean Sea, The Great Sea, has everything a major work of history requires. An important theme, solid research, magnificent writing and a perceptive insight into human nature...As an introduction to this story - and as a cautionary tale of what happens when the darkness in the human soul crowds out the light - there is no better place to start than David Abulafia's The Great Sea."--The California Literary Review

"For both specialists and interested general readers, this book will be a treasure and become the standard work on the topic."--Booklist Online
"Book of the Year" selection, History category--he Economist
"David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University, brings historians and interested readers the ultimate biography of this unique sea, as seen and used and experienced by the people who lived and still live on its long coastline."--Bookbanter

"This magnificent history, at once sweeping and precise, spans the period from 22,000 B.C. to 2010 A.D. to explicate the history of human activity on and around the Mediterranean Sea...[Abulafia] is a superb writer with a gift for lucid compression and an eye for the telling detail...He has taken on a grand subject, and has related and interpreted it with authority, exactitude, and verve. His work deserves a wide and appreciative audience."--The Atlantic

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