For hundreds of years people have sailed, traded and fought across the waters of the Mediterranean. On its shores and islands they have built cities, colonized, dreamed, conquered and fallen. This sea, which brings together three continents, was the cradle of Western civilization.
Ernle Bradford spent almost thirty years sailing into nearly every corner of the Mediterranean and here he tells its fascinating story. Once it was realized that the sea could be a link rather than a barrier, discovery was possible and he follows the exploration of the Egyptians, the Cretans, the Phoenicians, the Greek, and others. The Mediterranean became a Roman and Byzantine sea until displaced by the Arabs and Turkish conquests which reached their apogee with the great siege of Malta in 1565; by the eighteenth century Europe again dominate, with France and England in contention for sovereignty. The author continues his story through the grand sweep of historic events including the Napoleonic Wars, the building of the Suez Canal and onto two World Wars ending with the peace of 1945.
Into his impressive account of the history of the region, Ernle Bradford weaves a wealth of detail: of flora and fauna, trade and commerce, society and religion, war and peace. The result is a compelling and rewarding portrait of an enormously vibrant region and its people