No Naked Ads -> Here!
The middle sea a history.., p.1

  The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean, p.1

The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean

Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode

The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean


  Title Page

  List of Maps

  List of Illustrations


  I Beginnings

  II Ancient Greece

  III Rome: The Republic

  IV Rome: The Early Empire

  V Islam

  VI Medieval Italy

  VII The Christian Counter-Attack

  VIII The Two Diasporas

  IX Stupor Mundi

  X The End of Outremer

  XI The Close of the Middle Ages

  XII The Fall of Constantinople

  XIII The Catholic Kings and the Italian Adventure

  XIV The King, the Emperor and the Sultan

  XV Barbary and the Barbarossas

  XVI Malta and Cyprus

  XVII Lepanto and the Spanish Conspiracy

  XVIII Crete and the Peloponnese

  XIX The Wars of Succession

  XX The Siege of Gibraltar

  XXI The Young Napoleon

  XXII Neapolitan Interlude

  XXIII Egypt After Napoleon

  XXIV The Settlement of Europe

  XXV Freedom for Greece

  XXVI Mohammed Ali and North Africa

  XXVII The Quarantotto

  XXVIII Risorgimento

  XXIX The Queens and the Carlists

  XXX Egypt and the Canal

  XXXI The Balkan Wars

  XXXII The Great War

  XXXIII The Peace


  Family Trees


  By the Same Author


  List of Maps

  The Eastern Mediterranean

  The Western Mediterranean



  The Reconquest of Spain to the thirteenth century

  Southern Italy and Sicily

  The Rock of Gibraltar


  Maps by Reginald Piggott

  List of Illustrations

  1. Sophia Schliemann wearing gold jewellery from the treasure found at Troy, photograph c. 1882 (AKG-images)

  2. Phoenician silver coin with the depiction of a Phoenician ship and a hippocamp (National Archaeological Museum, Beirut/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  3. The goddess of the serpents, c. BC 1500, from the Palace of Knossos (Archaeological Museum of Haraklion, Crete/Bridgeman Art Library)

  4. Odysseus and the Sirens, Athenian red-figure stamnos vase by the Siren Painter, c. BC 490 (British Museum, London/Bridgeman)

  5. Carved ivory plaque of a lion, Assyrian, c. BC 800 (British Museum/Bridgeman)

  6. Battle scene from the Alexander Sarcophagus, Hellenistic, c. BC 320 (Archaeological Museum, Istanbul/Bridgeman)

  7. Greek bronze sculpture of a warrior with helmet, found in the ocean near Riace, southern Italy, c. BC 430 (Museo Nazionale, Reggio di Calabria, AKG/Nimatallah)

  8. Portrait bust of Pericles, Roman marble copy after a Greek original by Kresilas, c. BC 440 (Pergamon Museum, Berlin/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  9. Portrait bust of Julius Caesar, Roman marble, c. BC 50 (Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples/Bridgeman)

  10. Funerary portrait of a woman (Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York/Bridgeman) and funerary portrait of a young man (Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts/Bridgeman). Egyptian, Roman period c. 100 AD

  11. Sardonyx cameo commemorating the naval victory of Octavian over Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium, BC 31 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna/Bridgeman)

  12. Colossal stone head of Emperor Constantine I, c. 320 (Pinacoteca Capitolina, Palazzo Conservatori, Rome/Bridgeman)

  13. The Mausoleum of Theodoric, Ravenna, c. 530 (Bridgeman)

  14. Detail from the mosaic of the battle of the gladiators against the wildcats, Roman, c. 320 (Galleria Borghese, Rome/Bridgeman)

  15. Capital of a column from Haghia Sophia, Istanbul, Byzantine School, 6th century (Bridgeman)

  16. Moorish capital from the Generalife, Palace of the Moorish kings built above the Alhambra, Granada, c. 785 (AKG)

  17. Interior of the Great Mosque, showing bays of two-tiered horseshoe arches, Cordoba, c. 785 (Bridgeman)

  18. Interior of the dome over the mihrab in the Great Mosque, Cordoba, c. 965 (Bridgeman)

  19. Minaret of Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo, 9th century (Ben Turner/Art Directors and Trip)

  20. Detail from the mosaic of Emperor Justinian I with his entourage, San Vitale, Ravenna, 547 (AKG/Nimatallah)

  21. The Good Shepherd, mosaic from the Mausoleum of Empress Galla Placidia, Ravenna, mid-5th century (AKG/Erich Lessing)

  22. The Three Magi, mosaic, S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, 6th century (AKG/Erich Lessing)

  23. St Michael the Archangel, Byzantine altar decoration in gold, enamel, precious and semi-precious stones from Constantinople, 12th century, now in San Marco, Venice (AKG/Erich Lessing)

  24. Christ crowning King Roger II of Sicily, mosaic, 12th century, Church of the Martorana, Palermo (Bridgeman)

  25. Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and his sons, from the Weingarten Chronicles manuscript, Ms D 11, 12th century (Landesbibliothek, Fulda/Bridgeman)

  26. Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, from an illuminated manuscript (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome/Bridgeman)

  27. Dome mosaics, including Christ Pantocrator and saints, in the Palatine Chapel, Palermo, 12th century (Rachel Royse/Corbis)

  28. Gold mosaics with saints and religious scenes from the walls and ceiling in the Palatine Chapel, Palermo, 12th century (Rachel Royse/Corbis)

  29. Mevlana Tekke, Seljuk architecture, Konya, Turkey, 13th century (Bridgeman)

  30. Ince Minare Madrasa, Seljuk architecture, Konya, Turkey, 1260-65 (Terry Richardson/Art Directors)

  31. Court of the Lions, the Alhambra, Granada, 8th century (Robin Smith/Art Directors)

  32. Charles I of Anjou, King of Naples and Sicily, sailing to Rome and his investiture with the Kingdom of Sicily by the Pope in 1265. Illumination from Les Grandes Chroniques de France, 1335, Ms. Royal 16 G VI, fol.429v (British Library, London/AKG)

  33. Siege of Damietta in 1249, during the crusade led by King Louis IX of France. Illumination from Les Grandes Chroniques de France, 14th century, Ms Français 2813, fol.281 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/AKG)

  34. Frederick II from his manuscript De arte venandi cum avibus. Cod. Palatina 1071, 1232 (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana/AKG)

  35. Siege of Acre, during the crusade of King Louis IX of France. Illumination from Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis, 1375-1400, Ms Royal 20 C VII, fol.24 (British Library/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  36. Crusader assault on Jerusalem in 1099. Illumination from 14th century manuscript, Fr 22495 f.69v (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/Bridgeman)

  37. Saladin’s Army. Illumination from 14th century manuscript, MS Fr 22495 fol.229 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/Bridgeman)

  38. Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator from the apse of the Cathedral of Cefalù, Sicily, 12th century (AKG/Rainer Hackenberg)

  39. Sultan Mehmet II. Turkish school, 15th century (Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul/Bridgeman)

  40. Dante and Virgil meet Count Ugolino, canto XXXIII, Inferno, part one of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, 1306-21. Manuscript illumination, c. 1350, Ms Palat. 313 fol.77r. (Biblioteca Nazionale, Florence/AKG)

  41. Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, burnt at the stake in Paris in 1314. Illumination from Grandes Chroniques de France, late 14th century, Ms. Royal C VII, fol.48 (British Library/AKG)

  42. The conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II, manuscript illumination from Ms Fr 9087 f.207v (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/AKG)
br />   43. Rumeli Hisar fortress, built by Mehmet II in 1452 on the Bosphorus, Istanbul (Bridgeman)

  44. Ferdinand II of Aragon, 1495, copy of a painting by Michiel Sittow (Kunsthisorisches Museum, Vienna/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  45. Isabella I of Castile and Leon, 1500, after Juan de Flandes (Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  46. Francis I, King of France, c. 1535, by Jean Clouet (Musée du Louvre, Paris/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  47. Emperor Charles V, 1533, by Titian (Museo del Prado, Madrid/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  48. The Doge Francesco Morosini Pursues the Turkish Fleet, April 1659, Venetian school (Museo Civico Correr, Venice/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  49. Turkish forces preparing for battle outside the walls of Rhodes in 1480, from an account written by Guillaume Caoursin and illustrated by the Master of Cardinal of Bourbon, 1483. Lat 6067 f55v. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/Bridgeman)

  50. Battle of Lepanto, 7th October 1571, contemporary Venetian painting (Museo Civico Correr, Venice/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  51. Charles VIII, King of France, 15th century, attrib. to Jean Bourdichon (Musée Condé, Chantilly/Bridgeman)

  52. Süleyman I, the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, c. 1530–40, by a Venetian painter from the circle of Titian (Collection Schloss Ambras, Innsbruck/AKG)

  53. Philip II, King of Spain, c. 1570, by Alonso Sanchez Coello (Sterling Maxwell Collection, Pollok House, Glasgow/Bridgeman)

  54. Francesco Morosini, Doge of Venice, c. 1690, style of Bartolomeo Nazzari (Museo Civico Correr, Venice/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  55. The Execution of Admiral Byng, 14th March 1757, 18th century, British School (National Maritime Museum, London)

  56. Destruction of ‘L’Orient’ at the Battle of the Nile, 1st August 1798 by George Arnald (National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection)

  57. Eruption of Vesuvius by Pietro Fabris, plate 3, published as a supplement in 1779 to Campi Phlegraei: Observations on the Volcanoes of the Two Sicilies by Sir William Hamilton, published 1776 (Bridgeman)

  58. Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples, after Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun (Musée Condé, Chantilly/Bridgeman)

  59. The arrival of Napoleon on the Island of Elba, 4 May 1814, hand-coloured print published by Artaria und Companie, Vienna, 1815 (Corbis)

  60. Battle of the Pyramids, 21st July 1798, 1806, by Louis Lejeune (Château de Versailles/Bridgeman)

  61. Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi, 1826, by Eugène Delacroix (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux/Bridgeman)

  62. Theodore Kolokotronis, engraving by Alois Senefelder after Giovanni Boggi, 1826 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/Bridgeman)

  63. George Gordon, Lord Byron, copy c. 1835 by Thomas Philips (National Portrait Gallery, London)

  64. The Massacre of Chios, 1824, by Eugène Delacroix (Musée du Louvre, Paris/Bridgeman)

  65. Isabella II, Queen of Spain, 1848, by José Guttierez de la Vega (Museo Romantico, Madrid/AKG/Erich Lessing)

  66. Alfonso XII, King of Spain, 1876 by Salvador Martinez Cubells (Academia de San Fernando, Madrid/Bridgeman)

  67. General Baldomero Espartero, 1842, by Antonio Maria Esquivel (Palacio del Senado, Madrid/Bridgeman)

  68. Daniele Manin and Nicoló Tammaseo are Liberated from Imprisonment, 17th March 1848, by Napoleone Nani, 1874 (Pinacoteca Querini-Stampalia, Venice/AKG/Cameraphoto)

  69. Garibaldi landing at Marsala (Museo del Risorgimento, Rome/Scala)

  70. Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy from 1861, photograph c. 1870 (Coll. Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte, Berlin/AKG)

  71. The inauguration procession of the Suez Canal at El-Guisr, engraving by Jules Didier from Voyage Pittoresque à Travers l’Isthme de Suez by Marius Fontane (Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs, Paris/Bridgeman)

  72. Map of the Suez Canal accompanied by different views and portraits of Ferdinand de Lesseps and Ismail Pasha, 1869 (Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs, Paris/Bridgeman)

  73. Turkish soldiers on horseback march down the streets of Constantinople before leaving to defend Libya against the invading Italians in 1911 (Getty Images)

  74. Troops landing on the beach at Gallipoli, Turkey, 15 October 1915 (Bettmann/Corbis)

  75. Eleftherios Kyirakos Venizelos. Engraving from Le Petit Journal, Supplement Illustré, Paris, 1916 (Coll. Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte, Berlin/AKG)

  76. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, c. 1890 (Coll. Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte, Berlin/AKG)

  77. Field-Marshal Edmund Allenby in Jerusalem, after its capture by British troops on 9 December 1917 (AKG)

  78. Kemal Atatürk. c. 1925 (AKG)

  79. Prince Faisal and delegation at the Versailles peace conference in 1919 (Bettmann/Corbis)

  80. French Premier Georges Clemenceau, American President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George after signing the Treaty of Versailles, June 1919 (Getty Images)

  The author and the publisher have made every effort to trace the holders of copyright in illustrations and text quotations. Any inadvertent errors or omissions can be corrected in future editions.


  When, some five or six years ago, it was first suggested to me that I should write a history of the Mediterranean, my heart sank. The subject seemed so huge, the time span so vast; how could the whole thing possibly be compressed into a single volume? Where should it begin? Where should it end? And how–since it would obviously have to be mercilessly selective–would the selecting be done?

  Somewhat to my surprise, these questions–together with many others that arose along the way–answered themselves. I had at one moment considered an introductory chapter that would deal with the formation of the Middle Sea, that majestic moment when the waters of the Atlantic crashed through the barriers at what are now the Straits of Gibraltar and flooded the immense basin which they have occupied ever since. It would have gone on to describe the seismic upheaval, almost equally dramatic, which split Europe from Asia in the northeastern corner, linking the Mediterranean with its neighbour–so close in physical terms, but so immeasurably distant in character–the Black Sea. But I am no geologist, and rather than launch my story some six million years ago I decided to begin, not with rocks and water, but with people.

  And not the first people, either–simply because the first people were prehistoric, and I have always found prehistory a bore. (If an author tries to write about a subject that bores him, you can be perfectly certain that his readers will be bored too.) How much more sensible, I thought, to start with ancient Egypt, a culture which has fascinated the West ever since it was first effectively discovered by Napoleon’s expedition in 1798–99. From there we have easy stepping stones leading via Crete, Mycenae and the Trojan War to ancient Greece and Rome–and then we are away.

  The other vital question was where to stop. This was a problem that I had never had to face before. In the past I have written histories of a kingdom, a republic and an empire, each of which came eventually to its appointed end. Since, however, the Mediterranean can be confidently expected to continue for several million more years at least, it was clear that I should have to choose an arbitrary cut-off point; and after long hesitation, I chose the end of the First World War. One could argue forever over whether this changed the Western world more radically than did the Second; my own feeling is that it did, bringing down three mighty empires and, incidentally, making its successor inevitable. But there was another, more practical consideration too. Had I continued the story through the interwar years and on to 1945, this book would have had to be at least half as long again, and had I taken it even further–perhaps to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948–history would have started to merge into current affairs. In such an event what I hope will prove a smooth and happy voyage might well have ended in shipwreck.

  Throughout the thirty-three chapters that follow, I have done my best to keep the centre of attention on the Mediterranean itself. Once again I have as far as possible avoided physical geography. Let
no one think that I underestimate the importance of tides, winds, currents and other oceanographical and meteorological phenomena; these things have shaped the whole art of navigation, they have dictated trade routes and they have decided the outcome of many a naval battle. But they have no place in these pages. All I have tried to do here is to trace the main political fortunes of the lands of the Middle Sea, insofar as their history was affected by their positions around it. This in turn means a number of perhaps surprising changes of emphasis. France, for example, is unquestionably a Mediterranean country, but its political centre is far away to the north; the French Revolution consequently receives only a passing mention, and you will find no references at all to Joan of Arc or the Massacre of St Bartholomew. The county of Provence, with the great city of Marseille and the magnificent port of Toulon, matters to us far more than does Paris.

  Spain is something of a special case. Ferdinand and Isabella are of huge importance for a number of reasons: their destruction of the Kingdom of Granada, their wholesale expulsions of Muslims and Jews which profoundly affected the demography of western Europe, and not least their sponsorship of Columbus–the first step in the downgrading of the Mediterranean to the comparative backwater which it was to become in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Later Spanish dynastic problems are also all too relevant to our story, throwing as they did much of the continent into confusion. The Peninsular War, on the other hand, principally centred as it was on northwest Spain and Portugal, I deemed to be no concern of ours.

  There was no doubt about Constantinople. The city itself may command only the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara, but the two successive empires of which it was the capital, the Byzantine and the Ottoman, occupied at various times well over half the shoreline of the Mediterranean. Each, therefore, constitutes an integral part of our story. And we have only to think of the great historic islands: Sicily, Cyprus, Malta and Crete. The first was part of the Byzantine Empire for several centuries (and, for one brief moment, its capital);1 the other three all suffered appalling sieges by the Ottoman Turks, two of which were successful. Only Malta survived unconquered until the time of Napoleon.

Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up