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The Middle Sea

A History of the Mediterranean

The Middle Sea
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The Mediterranean has nurtured three of the most dazzling civilisations of antiquity, witnessed the birth or growth of three of our greatest religions and links three of the world's six continents. To the peoples living around its periphery, it has served at various times as a cradle and a grave, a bond and a barrier, a blessing and a battlefield. It has inspired writers from Homer and Virgil to Norman Douglas and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Geographically, it is unlike any other sea in the world; in historical importance also, it stands alone.

John Julius Norwich has visited every country around its shores; he has written histories of Norman Sicily, of Venice and of Byzantium. Now at last he tells the story of the Middle Sea itself - a story that begins with the Phoenicians and the Pharaohs and ends with the Treaty of Versailles.

He takes us through the Arab conquests of Syria and North Africa; the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades; Ferdinand and Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition; the great sieges of Rhodes and Malta by the Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent; the pirates of the Barbary Coast and the Battle of Lepanto; Nelson and Napoleon; the Greek War of Independence and the Italian Risorgimento.

The story ends with the tragic Gallipoli campaign and the war in the desert which brought fame to the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence.

Random House; August 2010
ISBN 9781409002789
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ISBNs
1844133087
9781409002789
9781844133086