The Mak­ing of the Mid­dle Sea

Timeless Travels Magazine - - BOOK REVIEW - Cyprian Brood­bank

Thames & Hud­son Pub­lished: 31 Au­gust 2015 Price: £24.95

The full ti­tle of this book is The Mak­ing of the Mid­dle Sea: A His­tory of the Mediter­ranean from the Be­gin­ning to the Emer­gence

of the Clas­si­cal World, and it cov­ers the his­tory of the Mediter­ranean from the emer­gence of early man to the dawn of the clas­si­cal era. This is an ab­so­lutely mas­sive un­der­tak­ing, but Brood­bank tack­les it with great aplomb. For mil­lions of years the Mediter­ranean has pro­duced some of the most as­ton­ish­ing his­tory and cul­ture on the planet, and its legacy ex­tends around the globe to this day.

Brood­bank ex­am­ines why this area de­vel­oped in such a way: it is the world’s largest in­land sea and it is ad­ja­cent to two of the ear­li­est civ­i­liza­tions, in Me­sopotamia and Egypt. There­fore it is no won­der that its so­ci­eties proved ex­cep­tional, and due to the depth and breadth of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­plo­rations, the Mediter­ranean has yielded one of the rich­est sources for the re­con­struc­tion of an­cient so­ci­eties. This is clearly a work of great ded­i­ca­tion and eru­di­tion, and is a must read for any­one in­ter­ested in any civil­i­sa­tions along its shores. The chrono­log­i­cal ta­ble alone is a work of mag­nif­i­cence.

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