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17 - Crossroads region: the Mediterranean

from Part Four - Crossroads regions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2015

Jerry H. Bentley
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Sanjay Subrahmanyam
University of California, Los Angeles
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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The most influential twentieth-century historian of the early modern Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel, insisted that deep geographical structures and long-term economic conjunctures made for a fundamental unity of the region, transcending political and religious boundaries. Christians controlled most crucial islands and peninsulas till the Norman conquest of Sicily and the Crusades in the eleventh century. The rise of Muslim powers brought substantial aggregation and consolidation to Eastern Basin. The clash between Muslim, mainly Ottoman, power in the east, and Christian, mainly Spanish, power in the west developed along a double frontier. Especially since the end of the sixteenth century, open war gave way to more endemic violence, occasionally masked by the rhetoric of religious fervour, but in fact operated by mixed crews against co-religionists as much as infidels. An institutional framework of cross-cultural contacts and trade is established and maintained networks of consular representatives. The geography of the Mediterranean created economic and cultural exchange between regions and cities.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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