Winner of the Mountbatten Literary Award for the Best Book About the Sea 2011
For over three thousand years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilization. David Abulafia's The Great Sea is the first complete history of the Mediterranean, from the erection of temples on Malta around 3500 BC to modern tourism. Ranging across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Jaffa, Genoa to Tunis, and bringing to life pilgrims, pirates, sultans and naval commanders, this is the story of the sea that has shaped much of world history.
'Teeming with colourful characters . . . Abulafia wears his scholarship lightly, even dashingly . . . at its heart, this is a history of mankind - gripping, worldly, bloody, playful.' Simon Sebag Montefiore, Financial Times
'A sensationally sweeping book . . . This magnificent history shows how a narrow strip of sea became a meeting place of civilizations.' Tom Holland, Observer
'The greatest living historian of the Mediterranean.' Andrew Roberts