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Memory and the Mediterranean
From The Publisher:
A previously unpublished work by one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century: the story of the Mediterranean in ancient times, from its geological beginnings to the great civilizations that flourished along its shores. Written in the late 1960s—the decade during which Fernand Braudel was also atwork on his monumental Civilization and Capitalism—the manuscript was set aside on the death of the author’s longtime friend and editor, Albert Skira.
The magnificent text begins with the history of the Mediterranean seabed itself—the layers of clay, sand, and limestone from which the Egyptians carved their ancient tombs and with which the megalithic temples in Malta were built. What follows is the epic story of how the Phoenicians, the Etruscans, the Greeks and Romans, and the great river civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt struggled and thrived in this demanding but gloriously beautiful world bordered and shaped by the Mediterranean.
With its extraordinary depth and range of knowledge, Braudel’s superb history—expertly annotated to reflect recent archaeological discoveries—brings to life as never before the beginnings of Western culture.
Not enough can be said about this most recently published work from Braudel (A History of Civilizations), a general history of the Mediterranean region from its geologic beginnings to Rome's takeover of the entire area. Braudel, who dominated France's Annales School following World War II and died in 1985, wrote this work in the late 1960s for a series that was never published. Subsequently, current scholars have used footnotes to correct the factual errors that resulted mostly from incomplete archaeological evidence regarding the earliest human history, leaving the author's text otherwise intact. The modern reader will appreciate this work's brevity compared with the author's previous works. Since the history of Phoenicia and its colonies is so closely tied to the geography of the Mediterranean, Braudel's emphasis on geography is particularly salient here. His approach to the Mediterranean will fascinate modern students of ancient history who have doubtless envied the 15th and 16th centuries for receiving so much attention from historians. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries.
—Clay Williams, Hunter Coll., New York
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About the Author
Fernand Braudel (1901-1985), the most celebrated French historian of the postwar era, taught at the Collège de France and was a member of the École Pratique des Hautes Études. His widely acclaimed works include A History of Civilizations, On History, The Structures of Everyday Life, and The Wheels of Commerce.
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