The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean E–book/E–pub

  • Hardcover
  • 588
  • The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean
  • John Julius Norwich
  • English
  • 19 August 2019
  • 9780701176082

John Julius Norwich ê 7 Free read

John Julius Norwich ê 7 Free read The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean Characters å 107 E 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. 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 homesYou will not find information on the following in this book1 How the inhabitants won salt2 How fish catch has changed how it was caught and how it affected the culture and cuisine of the region3 How the climate has been governed by the presence of the sea and how this has affected agriculture4 The economic significance of the olive5 How the fertility of the Mediterranean has been affected by the growth of civilisation6 How the Scylla and Charybdis of the the Straits of Messina entered Greek mythology and how they have influenced water borne commerce7 How shipbuilding has progressed and how the conditions on the Mediterranean influenced it8 Anything else about fish or olivesIt 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

Read & download The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean

The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean

John Julius Norwich ê 7 Free read The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean Characters å 107 A one volume narrative history of the Mediterranean from Ancient Egypt to 1919 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 th. I reviewed this for someone maybe the Spectator a few years ago like this Its character is complex awkward and uniue wrote the French historian Fernand Braudel in the preface to the First Edition of his The Med and the Med World in the Age of Philip II No simple biography beginning with date of birth can be written of this sea no simple narrative of how things happened would be appropriate to its history But then no French historian could reckon on JJN either Historian broadcaster champion of Venice he can be viewed almost any day in the year in the Reading Room of the London Library where he bones up on his facts and writes his books Over the years these have included a history of Sicily two volumes on Venice and three on Byzantium If anyone could come up with a simple narrative of how things happened in the Mediterranean it would be the man who has travelled and guided other travellers across those wine dark seas for well over half a centuryIn the preface to this amusing absorbing and companionable history Norwich claims to be an amateur not a scholar a claim we can take with a pinch of sel gris because he has done an impressive amount of research here taking us from the first pyramids to the outbreak of the First World War The airy disavowal is I suppose a reminder that history can be a pleasure it helps to establish his role as a genial storyteller slipping across a surprisingly large amount of important information The trick is always to make it look easy and Norwich never falters his tone throughout is that of a brilliant conversation with his readerIt s a totally one sided conversation of course like the talk that opens a Conrad novel between men drawing on cigars in the warm darkness Norwich must cover the whole of classical civilization as well as the renaissance He must deal with Nelson Nice Nineveh and the War of the Sicilian Vespers It is a Muslim story a Christian story and the cockpit of the Jewish story too Art music sailing rigs gunpowder these are a few of the obvious topics but Julius Caesar Constantine Jesus Christ and Roger the Norman king of Sicily need their say too among a cast of characters which must run into the thousands Above all it s the weave as any decent rug merchant from Tyre to Gadez would be likely to point out Now that the shores of the Med are coated in an almost continuous line of resinous foliage and concrete holiday houses lapped by a warm embrocation of salt algae and Factor 15 connected like a cat s cradle by no frills airlines charter yachts ferries and motorways borders extinguished between Gibraltar and Kylithos poverty to the south prosperity to the North with euros doubling as currency the whole way round we need reminding that the Middle Sea was until recent times a varied universe a stew of such variety that only a fisherman s paella could do it justiceNorwich s answer is to toggle the focus as the centuries unwind Egypt Crete and ancient Greece the rise and fall of Rome all these are covered in the first seventy pages He devotes fifty pages to the Napoleonic escapade and its fallout in Egypt as well as Italy Spain and France He often uses great set pieces the Battle for Malta the story of Gibraltar as forward bases to launch raids into neighbouring territories a techniue which allows full rein to his enthusiasm for vigorous narrative and the telling detail And when Norwich says he s no scholar all he means is that he lacks the desire to be dispassionate The Middle Sea is a book that Braudel could never have foreseen but he might have welcomed its air of high tone gossip Piazza San Marco which Norwich knows so well was the finest drawing room in Europe but step through the French windows and there s a party on the lawn going on outside too Those Phoenicians Herodotus tells us that in about 600BC at the behest of Pharaoh Necho they circumnavigated the continent of Africa Fellow with the red beard Kheir ed Din He may not have had uite the panache of Aruj but he possessed all his brother s ambition all his courage and arguably rather statesmanship and political wisdom Avoid the kumiss by the way that fermented mare s milk so unaccountably popular with Turks and Mongols alike Stout lady in a veil Caterina wife of James of Lusignan her father was a diplomat her uncle the Auditor of Cyprus on her mother s side her lineage was still distinguished there she could boast as a great grandfather no less a person than John Comnenus Emperor of Trebizond The Emperor of course is there as well and so with the urbane Lord Norwich murmuring the introductions at your elbow you move gracefully through the best Mediterranean society There is little point in speculating on how history might have been changed had Constantine Dragases indeed married Maria Brankovich he murmurs but it s worth a small aside isn t it The Byzantines were doomed we shake our heads and now we re off again with the Ottomans rolling up the eastern Mediterranean to discover the fate of the islands and the shores of Greece Everyone stands to learn things from this book However well we think we know our patch most of us have difficulty placing our knowledge in context the march of events eludes us whole epochs and areas are to us a closed book Our historical training and experience from school to university has been bitty and selective in direct opposition to the sort of history Norwich or Braudel for that matter revel in We need these grand sweeps these energetic narratives because we just don t know enough How did the Knights of Rhodes wind up in Malta Why did the puff go out of the Venetians What was all jokes aside the War of Jenkins Ear How did we get Gibraltar and who won the War of Spanish Succession Norwich is a superb narrative historian he will give you the lowdown on say the history of Greek independence or Giulia Gonzaga s escape from Barbarossa s clutches without distorting the facts or leaving out the jokes his grasp of the diplomatic essence is no less assured than his command of strategy Nor does he overreach Nowhere does he really present an argument for taking Mediterranean history as a whole he assumes it just as we do People connect battle is joined there may not have been since the time of the Greeks a pan Mediterranean culture but the sea has always been a stage Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium 2000 miles across the sea Roger of Sicily lit up the world with his fertile tolerance Barbarossa uartered his sailors in Toulon with French connivance in 1546 and an English admiral Nelson destroyed the French fleet and effectively created the emperor Napoleon on the Nile in 1799Norwich leaves us with the impression that we share an old friend the wide locus of our hopes our speech our culture and ideals with ever a leavening hint of spice from the world beyond You can take your Blue Guide or your Rough Guide anywhere you like but if you are planning to go anywhere south of the Alps or north of the Sahara to an island perhaps studded with Venetian fortresses orthodox churches cafes and pines this is your book

Free download á eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ê John Julius Norwich

John Julius Norwich ê 7 Free read The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean Characters å 107 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 scholarsh. 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 Doc Featherstones Return Lost Shifters #24 islands of the Mediterranean Malta Sicily Crete and CyprusThe Middle Sea Tia and the Firefighter The Pleasure Of His Punishment​ #12 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 scholarsh. I read this one little by little savoring John Julius Norwich s fluent prose and lively commentary on European history as Bright and Early Thursday Evening A Tangled Tale it My valiant knight impinged on those countries The White Lantern in Europe Asia and Africa bordering on the Mediterranean the middle sea I had previously read his long narrative history of the The Normans Dual Abduction Alien Abduction #3 in Sicily The Normans Seven Wishes in the South 1016 1130 and the Kingdom Stumptown Vol 1 in the Sun 1130 1194 but he The Natural Mind Waking Up Volume I is probably best known for his histories of Byzantium and of Venice All of these specialties of his got their due attention Surprised by Suffering in this book but he cast light on other topics such as Napoleon s Fun with Zip and Zap Phonics chapter book ill fated foray The Hyde Park Headsman into Egypt and the breakup of empires after World War I Norwich The Best American Science Writing 2006 is Farmer in some ways Expanding Opportunity idiosyncratic and anecdotal A Little Mistake in his approach he Gaia Ambition is a writer not an academic historian but throughout offers a memorable perspective Heavy Expectations in a skillful storytelling voice a modern bard of history