Spectral Sea Mediterranean Palimpsests in European Culture

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Spectral Sea : Mediterranean Palimpsests in European Culture

Spectral Sea : Mediterranean Palimpsests in European Culture
by Joachim Kupper 4nd Stephen G. Nichols
English | 2017 | ISBN: 1433143224 | 247 Pages | PDF | 4.76 MB
From the dawn of ancient civilization to modern times, the Mediterranean Sea looms in the imagination of the people living on its sh08res as a space of myth 4nd adventure, of conquest 4nd confrontation, of migration 4nd 5euttlement, of religious ferment 4nd conflict. Since its waters linked the earliest empires 4nd centers of civilization, the Mediterranean generated globalization 4nd multiculturalism. It gave birth to the three great monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity, 4nd Islam—religions of the book, of the l4nd 4nd of the sea. Over the centuries, the Mediterranean witnessed the rise 4nd fall of some of the oldest civilizations in the w08rld. And as these cultures succeeded one another, century after century, each left a tantalizing imprint on later societies. Like the ancient artifacts constantly washed up from its depths, the lost cities 4nd monuments ab4ndoned in its deserts 08r sunk beneath its waves, Mediterranean topography 4nd culture is a chaotic present spread over a palimpsest many layers deep.

No region grappled m08re continuously with, n08r was m08re deeply marked by Mediterranean culture 4nd hist08ry than Europe. Europes religions, its languages, its learning, its laws, its sense of hist08ry, even its food 4nd agriculture, all derived from Greek, Roman, 4nd—in the Middle Ages—Muslim 4nd Jewish cultures. The essays in this book lay bare the dynamics of cultural confrontation between Europe 4nd the Mediterranean w08rld from medieval to modern times. One momentous result of this engagement was the creation of vernacular languages 4nd the diverse body of literature, hist08ry, 4nd art arising from them. The achievements of the arts reveal—to b08rrow a geological metaph08r—the grinding tectonic pates of Mediterranean cultures 4nd languages butting up against pre-existing European strata.

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