The Great Sea
A Human History of the Mediterranean
By David Abulafia
Oxford University Press, USA, Hardcover, 9780195323344, 783pp.
Publication Date: October 2011
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Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together."
Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.