Europe between the oceans Themes and variations, 9000 BC - AD 1000

Barry W. Cunliffe

Book - 2008

By the fifteenth century Europe was a driving world force, but the origins of its success have until now remained obscured in prehistory. In this book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity.

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New Haven : Yale University Press c2008.
Main Author
Barry W. Cunliffe (-)
Physical Description
ix, 518 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. 481-499) and index.
  • Ways of seeing: space, time and people
  • The land between the oceans
  • Food for the gathering
  • The first farmers: from the fertile crescent to the Danube Valley: 7500-5000 BC
  • Assimilation in the maritime regions: 6000-3800 BC
  • Europe in her infinite variety: c.4500-2800 BC
  • Taking to the sea-- crossing the peninsula: 2800-1300 BC
  • Emerging Eurozones: 1300-800 BC
  • The three hundred years that changed the world: 800-500 BC
  • States in collision: 500-140 BC
  • The interlude of empire: 140 BC-AD 300
  • The turn of the tide: AD 300-800
  • Europe rebalanced: A D 800-1000
  • The longue durée.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. Cunliffe, emeritus professor of archeology at Oxford, colorfully weaves history, geography archeology and anthropology into a mesmerizing tapestry chronicling the development of Europe. The sheer size of the European coastlines, as well as the inland rivers pouring into these seas, enabled many groups to move easily from one place to another and establish cultures that flourished commercially. Between 2800 and 1300 B.C., for example, Britain, the Nordic states, Greece and the western Mediterranean states were bound together by their maritime exchange of bronze, whose use in Britain and Ireland had spread by 1400 B.C. to Greece and the Aegean. From 800 to 500 B.C.--the three hundred years that changed the world--the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians emerged from relative obscurity into major empires whose struggles to control the seas were for the first time recorded in writing. Cunliffe points out that each oceanic culture developed unique sailing vessels for the kinds of commerce peculiar to it. Richly told, Cunliffe's tale yields a wealth of insights into the earliest days of European civilization. Illus., maps. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved