Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Med Men

The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World

By

Thames & Hudson 672pp £34.95 order from our bookshop

‘I don’t have time for all that weird stuff. Cut it out!’ The professor was berating me for a passage in a textbook for US undergraduates. The weird stuff was about Mediterranean peoples of the first millennium BC: the Garamantes, who crossed the Sahara in chariots and built underground irrigation channels in the arid Fezzan; the Tartessians of southern Spain, with their legends of long-lived kings; the Etruscans, with their strangely deferential attitude towards women; the Illyrians, reputed descendants of Polyphemus and Galatea, who defended themselves against Greeks and Romans from behind Cyclopean walls. 

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