The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History.
Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell, The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2000), xiii + 761 pp.; 34 maps. ISBN 0-631-13666-5, 70.00 [pounds sterling]/$74.95 (hard covers); 0-631-21890-4, 24.99 [pounds sterling]/$34.95 (p/ b). And this is only Volume I. In the future we are promised climate, disease, demography, and relations between the Mediterranean and other parts of the world. Here we have ideas of the Mediterranean, microecologies, agriculture, the production and movement of goods, environmental and social crises and responses to them, social anthropology, and (unexpectedly) religion to get our teeth into. The project's scope and originality are breathtaking. To address the whole region, doing justice to its unity and diversity, across the ancient and medieval periods, is unprecedented. The result is not only vastly learned; the authors teem with new theories and interpretations in almost every chapter. Much discussion is inevitably somewhat abstract, though liberally salted with examples and case studies. We miss larger analyses of the major cities, which had such a wide impact, but we can get those elsewhere. What we have here is an achievement which no student of the Mediterranean will dare to be without.
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2001|
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