Christophe Picard’s new book Sea of the Caliphs is the translation of his La mer de califes: Une histoire de la Méditerranée musulmane, VIIe-XII siècles (2015). In this book Picard wants to demonstrate the crucial importance of the Mediterranean for Muslim maritime activities and power. While the dominating role of Muslim traders in the Indian Ocean has been acknowledged, the Mediterranen is still linked in our understanding with the rise of the Italian mercantile cities such as Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. Picard tries to counterbalance this picture with quite some success. He organizes the book in two parts, with more or less the same geographical and chronological scope. For those interested in the Arab perception of the Mediterranean, the first part (The Arab Mediterranean between Representation and Appropriation, 117–182) provides new evidence about how the famous geographers rediscovered/reinvented the...
Book Review| June 29 2020
Review: Sea of the Caliphs: The Mediterranean in the Medieval Islamic World, by Christophe Picard
Sea of the Caliphs: The Mediterranean in the Medieval Islamic World.
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
2018. 416 pp. ISBN 978-0-674-66046-5. $35.00.
Journal of Medieval Worlds (2020) 2 (1-2): 39–40.
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Michael North; Review: Sea of the Caliphs: The Mediterranean in the Medieval Islamic World, by Christophe Picard. Journal of Medieval Worlds 29 June 2020; 2 (1-2): 39–40. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jmw.2020.2.1-2.39
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