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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