#DOWNLOAD · The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean Ð eBook or E-pub free

John Julius Norwich, radio and television host and prolific author, has written his most expansive work yet His past works have focussed primarily on historical Britain or particular areas periods civilizations around the Mediterranean this work weaves together chronologically the rich history of that Middle Sea, focussed on the several great civilizations over the centuries and millennia, but supplemented with the comings and goings of many, many other small and middle powers, leaders, and peoples.Unfortunately Norwich has chosen as the book s subtitle, A History of the Mediterranean , and if this is truly his aim, he falls short It is a history of conflict in the Mediterranean, with politics and religion playing supporting roles, but with culture almost non existent On this slightly smaller but still enormous canvas, Norwich delivers a very richly detailed and coloured portrait His writing is clear and straightforward, with not infrequent sly asides or subtle humour Given the different eras, civilizations, and languages covered, Norwich s expansive lexicon will have readers scrambling frequently for their dictionaries I read the book on an e reader and found myself using its built in services almost every page To complicate matters further, many historically significant places are now either small villages or non existent, or have had their names changed over time think Constantinople to Istanbul, but hundreds of times over and on a smaller scale The included maps and illustrations are helpful, but readers will still benefit from either some prior knowledge or some supplementary reference material.An abridged list of the 33 chapter headings gives an idea of the book s scope Ancient Greece Rome Islam The Two Diasporas The Fall of Constantinople The Catholic Kings and the Italian Adventure Barbary and the Barbarossas The Young Napoleon The Settlement of Europe Mohammed Ali and North Africa Egypt and the Canal The Great WarWhat is apparent even from this selected list is that the level of detail increases dramatically as time progresses Ancient Greece gets one chapter, Rome two, and Napoleon than two Norwich himself notes, in explaining why he chose to end the book at the conclusion of WWI states, In the early chapters of this book, a century could be covered in a page or two towards the end of it, an entire chapter may barely accommodate a decade For readers interested in Norwich s particular focus and who don t expect an equal treatment of all events, Norwich is an excellent guide through the Mediterranean s rich history A long but very enjoyable read. This book is reminiscent of one of those tours where today you visit the Eiffel tower, tomorrow you rush through the treasures of the Hermitage Museum and the following day you find yourself in the outer Hebrides Having time travelled through several centuries on a whirlwind tour of the history of the Mediterranean, I am now suffering from a severe case of information overload Don t get me wrong this book is excellent, but there is a lot of information to process In places I became confused than enlightened, simply because of my own lack of knowledge and the sheer volume of information To be honest, I have managed to only absorb a small fraction of the information presented here Fortunately John Julius Norwich has written several books which provide information on specific subjects, which will allow me to focus on those topics of particular interest to me.Essentially this book is a summary of the history of the Mediterranean starting about 3000BC and continuing to the first half of the twentieth century condensed into 688 pages Almost anything I say is bound to be inadequate, but here is a listing of the chapters plus a few miscellaneous tidbits to give you some idea of what is discussed in this book Beginnings Egyptians, Phoenicians, Crete, Mycenae, Troy, Canaan Palestine , Babylon, etc.Ancient GreeceThe Golden Age Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Socrates, Plato, AristotleAristotle was than a philosopher his surviving oeuvre also contains works on ethics, history, science, politics, literary and dramatic criticism, nature, meteorology, dreams and a particular interest of his zoology He was, in short, a polymath perhaps the first in history And he left behind him the first true library, a vast collection of manuscripts and maps which was the prototype for Pergamum, Alexandria and all the other great public libraries of antiquity Alexander the Great, Ptolemy, CleopatraRome The Republic Carthage, Hannibal, Punic Wars, Sulla, Pompey, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gaius Julius Caesar, Spartacus, Mark AntonyRome The Early Empire Virgil and Horace Roman art and literature vs that of the Greeks plus Roman achievements in law, science and engineeringRome s golden age and the Emperor HadrianConstantine and ConstantinopleWhen Constantine first set eyes on Byzantium, the city was already nearly a thousand years old, JustinianGoths, Huns, Visigoths and VandalsThe HunsFor clothing they favoured tunics made from the skins of field mice crudely stitched together These they wore continuously, without ever removing them, until they dropped off of their own accord Their home was the saddle they seldom dismounted, not even to eat or to sleep IslamThe Prophet Mohammed, Charles Martel, Tariq, Abdul Rahman and his grandson Abdul Rahman IIAbdul Rahman s later years were a good deal tranquil He never succeeded in imposing political unity on Spain, but he was a wise and merciful ruler and a deeply cultivated man His capital city of Cordoba he transformed, endowing it with a magnificent palace, a famously beautiful garden and most important of all with the Mezquita, its great mosque, begun in 785 on the site of the early Christian cathedral, which when completed was the most sumptuous mosque in the world and still stands today The Alhambra Palace complex in Granada, SpainMathematics and medicine, geography and astronomy and the physical sciences were still deeply mistrusted in the Christian world in that of Islam, they had been developed to a point unequalled since the days of ancient Greece Adelard of BathMedieval Italy The LombardsPepin, King of the FranksThe Papal States CharlemagneInvasion of Sicily by North African ArabsThe arrival of the Normans in the south and the de Hauteville familyIn Roger II Europe saw one of the greatest and most colourful rulers of the Middle Ages Born of an Italian mother, raised in Sicily where thanks to his father s principles of total religious toleration Greek and Saracen mingled on equal footing with Norman and Latin, in appearance a southerner, in temperament an oriental, he had yet inherited all the ambition and energy of his Norman forebears and combined them with a gift for civil administration entirely his own His supreme monument is the Palatine Chapel, which he built during the 1130s and 1140s on the first floor of the royal palace of Palermo The Christian Counter AttackThe crusades, The Knights of St John and the Templars, Louis VII of France and his queen, Eleanor of AquitaineSalah ed Din Saladin , Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Richard Coeur deLion of England, Philip Augustus of France, etcConstantinople in the twelfth century was the most intellectually and artistically cultivated metropolis of the world, and the chief repository of Europe s classical heritage, both Greek and Roman By its sack, Western civilisation suffered a loss far greater than the sack of Rome by the barbarians in the fifth century perhaps the most catastrophic single loss in all history The Two DiasporasStupor MundiFrederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, known as Stupor MundiIt was impossible to find a subject which did not interest him He would spend hours not only in study but in long disputations on religion, philosophy or mathematics The Emperor took full control of criminal justice, instituted a body of itinerant judges acting in his name, curtailed the liberties of the barons, the clergy and the towns, and laid the foundations of a system of firm government paralleled only in England, with similar representation of nobility, churchmen and citizens The End of OutremerCharles of Anjou The Sicilian VespersThe French were already hated throughout the Regno, both for the severity of their taxation and for the arrogance of their conduct, and when, on the evening of 30 March, a drunken French sergeant began importuning a Sicilian woman outside the Church of Santo Spirito just as the bells were ringing for vespers, her countrymen s anger boiled over The sergeant was set upon by her husband and killed the murder led to a riot, the riot to a massacre Two thousand Frenchmen were dead by morning The Close of the Middle AgesPhilip the Fair and the TemplarsThe Knights Hospitaller of St JohnThe Black DeathIt was in 1341, only twenty years after Dante s death, that Petrarch was crowned with the poet s laurels on the Capitol, but in those twenty years lay all the difference between late medieval scholasticism and the humanism of the Renaissance The Avignon PopesThe Fall of ConstantinopleCross gave way to Crescent St Sophia became a mosque the Byzantine Empire was supplanted by the Ottoman Constantinople became Istanbul At twenty one, Mehmet II had achieved his highest ambition The Catholic Kings and the Italian AdventureThe Spanish Reconquista was making slow progress, but the salient date for Spain perhaps one of the most significant dates in all Spanish history was 17 October 1469, which saw the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon to his cousin Isabella of Castile Christopher Columbus Cristoforo Colombo of GenoaCharles VIII of France, Ludovico Sforza of Milan, Girolamo Savonarola, Francesco Gonzaga and the BorgiasThe King, The Emperor and the Sultan King Francis I of France, Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and Suleyman the GreatThe Sack of Rome, 1527Barbary and the BarbarossasMalta and CyprusThe siege of MaltaThe Venetians and the struggle for CyprusLepanto and the Spanish ConspiracyAnd so Lepanto is remembered as one of the decisive battles of the world, the greatest naval engagement between Actium fought only some sixty miles away and Trafalgar The expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain.The Spanish ConspiracyFor some weeks before the appointed day, Spanish soldiers in civilian clothes would be infiltrated in twos and threes into Venice, where they would be secretly armed by Bedmar Then, when all was in readiness, Osuna s galleons, flying his own personal standard, would advance up the Adriatic and land an expeditionary force on the Lido, together with a fleet of flat bottomed barges in which that force would be rowed across the lagoon to the city The Piazza, Doge s Palace, Rialto and Arsenal would be seized, their armouries ransacked to provide additional arms for the conspirators and for any Venetians who might be prepared to lend them support The leading Venetian notables would be killed or held to ransom The remaining chapters are Crete and the PeloponneseThe Wars of Succession The Siege of GibraltarThe Young NapoleonNeapolitan InterludeEgypt After NapoleonThe Settlement of Europe Freedom for GreeceMohammed Ali and North AfricaThe QuarantottoRisorgimentThe Queens and the CarlistsEgypt and the CanalThe Balkan WarsThe Great WarThe PeaceThis book is written in the author s signature chatty style, and there are extensive notes at the end of each chapter In addition to the bibliography there are maps, family trees and illustrations. #DOWNLOAD Ë The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean ⚢ A One Volume Narrative History Of The Mediterranean From Ancient Egypt To Written In The Racy, Readable Prose For Which The Author Is Famous, This Is Colourful, Character Driven History At Its Most EnjoyableThis Magnificent Undertaking Tackles A Vast Subject Vast In Time From The Oldest Surviving Pyramid To The First World War Vast In Geography From Gibraltar To Jerusalem And Vast In Culture, Including As It Does The Civilizations Of The Phoenicians, The Ancient Egyptians, Greece, Carthage, Rome, Byzantium, As Well As The Borgias And The Medicis, Mohammed And El Cid, Napoleon And Nelson, Moslems, Jews And ChristiansThe Middle Sea Is Not A Dry Record Of Facts It Is A Rackety Read About Historical Figures Dissolute Popes And Wily Emperors, Noble Hearted Generals And Beautiful Princesses But His Greatest Strength Is Naval And Military History From The Crusades To The Expulsion Of The Moors From Spain From Trafalgar To Gallipoli Towns Are Besieged And Sacked, Kingdoms Are Won And Lost The Narrative Covers The Glories Of Constantinople And Venice, And The Stirring History Of The Islands Of The Mediterranean Malta, Sicily, Crete And CyprusThe Middle Sea Is The Culmination Of John Julius Norwich S Long And Distinguished Career As One Of The Greatest Enthusiasts For Anecdotal History, And The Highways And Byways Of Scholarship Sve u svemu, zgodna sinteza povijesti mediterana, od Minojaca do zavr etka prvog svjetskog rata malo eurocentri na, ali puna zanimljivih anegdota i faktoida koji se ne u e u koli. I read this one little by little, savoring John Julius Norwich s fluent prose and lively commentary on European history as it impinged on those countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa bordering on the Mediterranean, the middle sea I had previously read his long narrative history of the The Normans in Sicily The Normans in the South 1016 1130 and the Kingdom in the Sun 1130 1194, but he is probably best known for his histories of Byzantium and of Venice All of these specialties of his got their due attention in this book, but he cast light on other topics such as Napoleon s ill fated foray into Egypt and the breakup of empires after World War I Norwich is in some ways idiosyncratic and anecdotal in his approach he is a writer, not an academic historian but throughout offers a memorable perspective in a skillful storytelling voice a modern bard of history. Another Did Not FinishThis one s just too detailed, not the same as dense, to hold my interest. 2.5 stars.Good god this was a slog It felt like I was reading this book forever, like a realtime reconstruction of Mediterranean history But, it is certainly pretty comprehensive My biggest complaint would be that there is no particular perspective or structure on the part of the historian My favorite history books are those which use a macrohistoric point of view to follow recurring themes and concepts to make a broader point Instead, this ends up being a rather dull recitation of facts. A monumental undertaking, written with all the style and verve one has come to expect of Norwich From ancient Hellas to the blood sodden field of the First World War is quite a journey yet the knowledge acquired upon the way is worth the travail The Middle Sea is an investment above all else. I found this book an entertaining read which filled in a few gaps in my knowledge within its stated remit A thoroughly educated student of history would probably regard it as review material only, but as a lay reader catching up on the history he never learned at school I found it a pleasant and fairly thorough introduction to the political history of the governments of the states on the Mediterranean littoral If you are also a lay reader of history for enjoyment, this book may be for you However, it promotes and partakes of a typical bias in history writing that has come to grate on my nerves over the years the invisibility of the life of the common man and woman, their diet, their tools and their homes.You will not find information on the following in this book 1 How the inhabitants won salt.2 How fish catch has changed, how it was caught, and how it affected the culture and cuisine of the region.3 How the climate has been governed by the presence of the sea and how this has affected agriculture.4 The economic significance of the olive.5 How the fertility of the Mediterranean has been affected by the growth of civilisation.6 How the Scylla and Charybdis of the the Straits of Messina entered Greek mythology and how they have influenced water borne commerce.7 How shipbuilding has progressed and how the conditions on the Mediterranean influenced it.8 Anything else about fish or olives.It is, basically, the usual annotated list of who fought whom in order to rule over whom If you like hearing about kings, it s a good read If you like hearing about cooks, farmers and shipwrights, it s disappointing All the same, it is an entertaining introductory volume. This was a disappointing book I was really looking forward to a history of the Mediterranean which included both shores and a history of the maritime and geographical impact of the sea on the peoples living around it and really it was little than an historical travelogue The work focused on traditional histories of the people on the Med and offers nothing new If you are unfamiliar with Southern European history this is a good intro But, if you are interested in a comprehensive history of the Med this isn t it The work is hamstrung by a powerful Euro centric sensibility and pretty much discounts the southern inhabitants of the sea and wholly ignores the importance and impact of the Black Sea Very disappointing.but a good noob intro to South European History Not really worth the time it would take to read.