Located at the intersection of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Mediterranean has connected societies for millennia, creating a shared space of intense economic, cultural, and political interaction. Greek temples in Sicily, Roman ruins in North Africa, and Ottoman fortifications in Greece serve as reminders that the Mediterranean has no fixed national boundaries or stable ethnic and religious identities.
In The Mediterranean World, Monique O'Connell and Eric R Dursteler examine the history of this contested region from the medieval to the early modern era, beginning with the fall of Rome around 500 CE and closing with Napoleon's attempted conquest of Egypt in 1798. Arguing convincingly that the Mediterranean should be studied as a singular unit, the authors explore the centuries when no lone power dominated the Mediterranean Sea and invaders brought their own unique languages and cultures to the region.
Structured around four interlocking themes-mobility, state development, commerce, and frontiers-this beautifully illustrated book brings new dimensions to the concepts of Mediterranean nationality and identity.
Monique O'Connell is an associate professor of history at Wake Forest University and the author of Men of Empire: Power and Negotiation in Venice's Maritime State. Eric R Dursteler is a professor of history at Brigham Young University and the author of Renegade Women: Gender, Identity, and Boundaries in the Early Modern Mediterranean.
List of MapsPrefaceA Note on Names and DatesIntroductionHistorians and the SeaApproaches and Themes1. The Waning of the Roman MediterraneanMare NostrumA Christian MediterraneanAn Eastern and a Western Mediterranean2. Forging New TraditionsAn Arabic MediterraneanBetween New Imperial CapitalsClimate Change and Collapse3. Early Medieval Economies and CulturesShifting Economies and Merchant NetworksCultural Capitals and Intellectual ExchangeReligious LifeReligious InstitutionsThe Rise of Religious Orthodoxies4. Reshaping Political CommunitiesNew Contenders for Power from the PeripheriesChristian Ideas of Holy War and the First CrusadeA Second Wave of Holy Warriors in the East and WestNew Monarchs, New States5. Crossing BoundariesIndividual and Community Lives on the FrontierConversion, Persuasion, and InquisitionMobility, Accommodation, and AcculturationMovement of Ideas and IntellectualsIntellectual and Artistic Cultures at Court6. Commerce, Conquest, and TravelCommercial Exchange and InnovationsTrade, Colonization, and the StateCompetition, Conflict, and CrusadeMobility of PeopleThe Bubonic Plague7. Crisis and Consolidation in State and SocietyNew Contenders for PowerThe Fourteenth-Century CrisisCivil Wars and Centralizing RegimesTransitions in the Eastern Mediterranean8. The Renaissance BazaarNetworks of Exchange and Material CultureIntellectual DiscoursesPatronage and Power9. Mediterranean EmpiresThe Ottoman EmpireHabsburg SpainVeniceCommon Friends, Common Enemies10. Life on the FrontierDefining and Mapping FrontiersMigration and MovementMediterranean SlaveryCorsairsRenegadesReligion and Life on the Frontier11. Mediterranean TransformationsThe EnvironmentDemographyDisease and FamineEconomyTravel and Literature12. The Waning of the Early Modern MediterraneanRussiaNapoleonCorsairs and SlavesCollecting the MediterraneanGuide to ResourcesIndex