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The Western Mediterranean and the World: 400 CE to the Present

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8817-3
360 pages
October 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
The Western Mediterranean and the World: 400 CE to the Present (1405188170) cover image

Description

From the Straits of Gibraltar to Sicily, the European northern Mediterranean nations to the shores of North Africa, the western Mediterranean is a unique cultural and sociopolitical entity which has had a singular role in shaping today’s global society. The Western Mediterranean and the World is the fascinating story of the rise of that peculiar world and of its evolution from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the present. Uniquely, rather than present the history of the region as a strict chronological progression, the author takes a thematic approach, telling his story through a series of vignettes, case studies, and original accounts so as to provide a more immediate sense of what life in and around the Mediterranean was like from the end of the Roman Empire in the West to the present immigration crisis now unfolding in Mediterranean waters. Emphasizing the development of religion and language and the enduring synergies and struggles between Christian, Jews, and Muslims on both shores of the western sea, Dr. Ruiz connects the region to the larger world and locates the development of Mediterranean societies within a global context.

  • Describes the move from religious and linguistic unity under Roman rule to the fragmented cultural landscape of today
  • Explores the relationship of language, culture, and geography, focusing on the role of language formation and linguistic identity in the emergence of national communities
  • Traces the movements of peoples across regions and their encounters with new geographical, cultural, and political realities
  • Addresses the emergence of various political identities and how they developed into set patterns of political organization
  • Emphasizes the theme of encounters as seen from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives

While it is sure to become a definitive text for university courses on Mediterranean history, The Western Mediterranean and the World will also have great appeal among scholars of the Mediterranean as well as general readers of history.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter I: The Western Mediterranean: Sites of Encounter and Cultural Production: Introduction

Part I:  Geography, History and Cultural Contexts

Chapter II:  The Imperatives of Geography and Climate:  Sea and Land in the Western Mediterranean

Chapter III: History in the Mediterranean: From Unity to Fragmentation, circa 450 CE until the Early Modern World

Chapter IV: History in the Mediterranean: The Making of the Modern World

Chapter V:  Religions of the Western Mediterranean: Unity and Fragmentation in the Religious History of the Sea

Chapter VI:  Religions of the Western Mediterranean: Conversos and Renegades

Chapter VII: Language, Culture, and Community in the Western Mediterranean

Part II: Mediterranean Encounters

Chapter VIII:  Encounters I: Traveling in the Western Mediterranean

Chapter IX: Encounters II: The Mediterranean as a Site of Conflict, Movement, and Encounter

Chapter X: Between Two Worlds.  Sites of Encounter: Iberia, Sicily, Tunis, Algiers, and Marseille

Chapter XI:  On the Waters of the Western Mediterranean: Islands and Towns

Chapter XII: The Western Mediterranean and the World

Bibliography

Index

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Author Information

TEOFILO F. RUIZ, PhD is Distinguished Professor of History and of Spanish and Portuguese Literature, at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. A scholar of the social and popular culture of late medieval and early modern Spain, Dr. Ruiz received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, and was selected the Faculty Research lecturer for 2011-12. He received a National Humanities Medal in 2011 for his "inspired teaching and writing," a doctor honoris causa from the Universidad de Cantabria, Spain in 2017.

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