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Norwich, John Julius - The Middle Sea - ( Item 125348 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2010. First Thus. 2 Fine Hardbacks. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Bound in buckram. Blocked in gold with a design by Neil Gower. Set in Plantin. 768 pages in total. Frontispiece and 24 pages of colour and black & white plates in each volume. 10 × 6¾. 'Some six or seven thousand years ago the Mediterranean gave birth to Western civilisation as we know it. Its relatively small size, its confined shape, the gentleness of its climate, the blessed fertility and the manifold indentations of its European and Asiatic shores, all combined to provide a uniquely protective environment in which its various peoples could develop and flourish - a body of water that might have been deliberately designed, like no other on the surface of the globe, as a cradle of cultures.' Ever since the first Minoans set sail, this extraordinary region, the meeting place of three continents, has formed both a bridge and a battlefield between nations and economies. It witnessed the birth of three of antiquity's greatest civilisations – Greece, Rome and Egypt – and countless other cultures. The Middle Sea is the remarkable story of the Mediterranean, a vast subject, both in time – from ancient Crete to the Treaty of Versailles – and in geography – from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Dardanelles. John Julius Norwich knows the Mediterranean as few others, and as he effortlessly navigates its waters, he reveals the astonishing history of the region. Why did Ancient Rome see Carthage as its main rival? What turned medieval Sicily into one of the richest powers in Europe? Why did Provence have more in common with North Africa than Normandy? What made Britain attribute such importance to taking and holding 'the Rock'? With inimitable authority and in his trademark narrative style, Norwich explains how the 'middle sea' itself played a pivotal role in the evolution of the region. He grips us with his descriptions of the rise and fall of the most glittering empires; the passion and brutality of religious conflicts – the Arabs in Spain, Syria and North Africa; the ill-fated Crusaders – the great personalities and dynasties – Süleyman the Magnificent and his son Selim II 'the Sot' ('a nickname he richly deserved'), Charlemagne ('illiterate, immoral, almost half-barbarian'), the Borgias and the Medicis, Mohammed and El Cid, Lord Byron and T. E. Lawrence.

Price £ 42.55                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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