Mediterranean History

David Abulafia

in The Oxford Handbook of World History

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235810
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Mediterranean History

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The first part of this article discusses the different approaches to Mediterranean history. People talk of the Mediterranean and refer to the waters that stretch eastward from the Straits of Gibraltar, linked to the Red Sea by the man-made channel of the Suez Canal and to the Black Sea by the natural channel of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus. The discussion insists that the study of Mediterranean history encapsulates many important aspects of world history: it involves the investigation of connections between societies separated by extensive physical space, focusing on commercial networks, the building of empires, and the movement of peoples, These phenomena can be traced across the surface of the sea across which Europe, Africa, and Asia meet one another and over which Christianity and Islam have vigorously competed for dominion. The second part of this article focuses on the development of the ‘classic Mediterranean’ over time.

Keywords: Mediterranean; Suez Canal; world history; Mediterranean Sea; Christianity; Islam

Article.  8246 words. 

Subjects: History ; Maritime History

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