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David Abulafia: Writing the History of the Sea

Professor David Abulafia FBA, Professor of Mediterranean History, and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge

‘Writing the History of the Sea’

Recorded at the British Academy Soirée, Tuesday 28 June 2016

How does one write the history of a sea? This is a space which is by definition difficult to inhabit permanently, setting aside islands.

Historians have tended to write about a ‘Mediterranean world’, an ‘Atlantic world’, and so on, but when one looks at the surface of the sea there is an exciting history of connections, commercial and cultural, involving the movement of people as merchants, migrants, slaves and sailors. Is it very largely a male history? These issues will be examined from the perspective of both the Mediterranean and the three great oceans.

List of speakers at the British Academy Soirée 2016