Catalogue


The Black Sea : a history /
Charles King.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2004.
description
xx, 276 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0199241619
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2004.
isbn
0199241619
catalogue key
5135668
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Charles King is an Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government at Georgetown University, where he also holds the university's Ion Ratiu Chair in Romanian Studies.
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Barbara Jelavich Book Prize, USA, 2005 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
Like its subject, this book is a hybrid, a mostly engaging historical narrative drawn from an array of secondary sources. As a result, it focuses on major power centers like Byzantine and Ottoman Constantinople and Asia Minor, with much less about the sea's eastern, northern, and western shores. It is also as "transnational" as the multitude of peoples who traversed its expanse and inhabited its shores--until the Russian tsars and ethnic nationalism forged more ethnically homogenous societies through expulsion and genocide. At the same time, this book is an historical travelogue that presents colorful anecdotes, including those that King (government and foreign service, Georgetown Univ.) correctly identifies as myth and apocrypha. Finally, it is a vivid account of the Black Sea's sometimes fascinating structural characteristics, such as the two great currents that divide it geographically into eastern and western halves and vertically between the saltier (and thus heavier) undercurrent that flows from the Mediterranean, and the lighter, fresher top current originating from the sea's many river tributaries. Fittingly, the volume closes with a sober analysis of the ecological crisis that confronts the Black Sea in an age of overfishing and industrial pollution. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. C. Ingrao Purdue University
Reviews
Review Quotes
A solid work by an academic historian, writing for the general educated public. He is particularly good on little known or forgotten episodes - the part played by Westerners in the development of the area. King is well placed to see through the myths of nationalists ... he has a good eye also for the victims of history. Kings work has all the virtues of good American scholarship ... vast array of sources, ... a transatlantic detachment, and the recent and very welcome fashion for elegant prose.
'both scholarly and enjoyable.'Lloyd's List
...essential reading for all who are dealing with the Black Sea history and archaeology.
'...essential reading for all who are dealing with the Black Sea history and archaeology.'International Journal of Maritime History
'...essential reading for all who are dealing with the Black Sea historyand archaeology.'International Journal of Maritime History
In this timely book Charles King provides a stretchy timeline for the murky pool (once a lake, now a tideless sea) which has always sat on the edge of everything: Europe, Asia, civilisation, barbarism, us and other.
"Like its subject, this book is a hybrid, a mostly engaging historical narrative drawn from an array of secondary sources.... a vivid account of the Black Sea's sometimes fascinating structural characteristics.... Recommended"--Choice "A masterful account of the ever-changing trade between the peoples and the powers of this crucial waterway."--Orlando Figes
"Like its subject, this book is a hybrid, a mostly engaging historical narrative drawn from an array of secondary sources.... a vivid account of the Black Sea's sometimes fascinating structural characteristics.... Recommended"-- Choice "A masterful account of the ever-changing trade between the peoples and the powers of this crucial waterway."-- Orlando Figes
The collapse of the Soviet Union restored two great geostrategic arenas long buried in now-defunct empires or pushed to the margin by Cold War alignments. The first is Inner Asia, an immense hinterland stretching from the Chinese borderlands, across the Siberian south, to the Hindu Kush. The second is the Black Sea, a junction where the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Middle East meet. (Say no more.) To appreciate what this re-embodiment means one needs a special vantage point. King traces the Black Sea's many political incarnations from the Greeks and Scythians to the Romans, the Byzantine Christians, the Ottomans, the Russians, and the tumult of the twentieth century. Even when fractured and populated with weak and troubled states (as now), the region, King argues in this mind-broadening book, coheres-and deserves to be thought about and approached accordingly.
This is an essential book for anyone who feels they ought to know about what used to be called "the eastern question" and worries, secretly, that it is too late to start finding out.
Well footnoted and fluently written...a useful and accessible work - with the Sea itself quite properly at the centre of attention.
This item was reviewed in:
Guardian UK, June 2004
Choice, January 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
The area from the Balkans to the Caucasus is often seen as a zone of timeless conflict, a frontier region at the meeting place of mutually antagonistic civilizations. But in this pathbreaking work, Charles King investigates the myriad of connections that have made the Black Sea more of a bridge than a boundary, linking religious communities, linguistic groups, empires, and later, nations and states. For some parts of the world, the idea of waterways as defining elements in human history is uncontroversial. Mention the Mediterranean or the South Pacific, and images of mutual influence come to mind. Those images come less readily for the Black Sea-a region that has experienced ethnic conflict, economic collapse, and interstate rivalries over the last two decades. But in the recent past, the idea of the Black Sea as a distinct unit was self-evident. From its formation some seven or eight millennia ago to the political revolutions and environmental crisis of the late twentieth century, the sea has been a zone of interaction - sometimes cordial, sometimes conflictual - among the peoples and states around its shores. To the ancient Greeks, the sea lay literally at the edge of the known world. In time, the growth of Greek trading colonies linked all the coasts into a web of economic relationships. In the Middle Ages, the sea was tied to the great commercial cities of Venice and Genoa. Later, the Ottomans used the region's resources to build their own empire. In the late eighteenth century, the sea was opened to foreign commerce, and the seacoasts were part of a genuinely global system of trade. After the collapse of the Russian and Ottoman empires, the coastline was carved up among a number of newly formed nation-states, with each asserting a right to a piece of the coast and a section of the coastal waters. Today, efforts to resurrect the idea of the Black Sea as a unified region are once again on the international agenda. Based on extensive research in multiple languages, this book is an indispensable guide to the history, cultures, and politics of this fascinating sea and its future at the heart of Europe and Eurasia.
Main Description
The area from the Balkans to the Caucasus is often seen as a zone of timeless conflict, a frontier region at the meeting place of mutually antagonistic civilizations. But in this pathbreaking work, Charles King investigates the myriad of connections that have made the Black Sea more of abridge than a boundary, linking religious communities, linguistic groups, empires, and later, nations and states.For some parts of the world, the idea of waterways as defining elements in human history is uncontroversial. Mention the Mediterranean or the South Pacific, and images of mutual influence come to mind. Those images come less readily for the Black Sea-a region that has experienced ethnic conflict,economic collapse, and interstate rivalries over the last two decades. But in the recent past, the idea of the Black Sea as a distinct unit was self-evident. From its formation some seven or eight millennia ago to the political revolutions and environmental crisis of the late twentieth century, thesea has been a zone of interaction - sometimes cordial, sometimes conflictual - among the peoples and states around its shores. To the ancient Greeks, the sea lay literally at the edge of the known world. In time, the growth of Greek trading colonies linked all the coasts into a web of economic relationships. In the Middle Ages, the sea was tied to the great commercial cities of Venice and Genoa. Later, the Ottomans used theregion's resources to build their own empire. In the late eighteenth century, the sea was opened to foreign commerce, and the seacoasts were part of a genuinely global system of trade. After the collapse of the Russian and Ottoman empires, the coastline was carved up among a number of newly formednation-states, with each asserting a right to a piece of the coast and a section of the coastal waters. Today, efforts to resurrect the idea of the Black Sea as a unified region are once again on the international agenda. Based on extensive research in multiple languages, this book is an indispensable guide to the history, cultures, and politics of this fascinating sea and its future at the heart ofEurope and Eurasia.
Main Description
The area from the Balkans to the Caucasus is often seen as a zone of timeless conflict, a frontier region at the meeting place of mutually antagonistic civilizations. But in this pathbreaking work, Charles King investigates the myriad of connections that have made the Black Sea more of a bridge than a boundary, linking religious communities, linguistic groups, empires, and later, nations and states. For some parts of the world, the idea of waterways as defining elements in human history is uncontroversial. Mention the Mediterranean or the South Pacific, and images of mutual influence come to mind. Those images come less readily for the Black Sea--a region that has experienced ethnic conflict, economic collapse, and interstate rivalries over the last two decades. But in the recent past, the idea of the Black Sea as a distinct unit was self-evident. From its formation some seven or eight millennia ago to the political revolutions and environmental crisis of the late twentieth century, the sea has been a zone of interaction - sometimes cordial, sometimes conflictual--among the peoples and states around its shores. To the ancient Greeks, the sea lay literally at the edge of the known world. In time, the growth of Greek trading colonies linked all the coasts into a web of economic relationships. In the Middle Ages, the sea was tied to the great commercial cities of Venice and Genoa. Later, the Ottomans used the region's resources to build their own empire. In the late eighteenth century, the sea was opened to foreign commerce, and the seacoasts were part of a genuinely global system of trade. After the collapse of the Russian and Ottoman empires, the coastline was carved up among a number of newly formed nation-states, with each asserting a right to a piece of the coast and a section of the coastal waters. Today, efforts to resurrect the idea of the Black Sea as a unified region are once again on the international agenda. Based on extensive research in multiple languages, this book is an indispensable guide to the history, cultures, and politics of this fascinating sea and its future at the heart of Europe and Eurasia.
Unpaid Annotation
- First ever comprehensive history of the Black Sea
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
On Namesp. xi
List of Platesp. xiv
List of Mapsp. xvi
An Archaeology of Placep. 3
People and Waterp. 3
Region, Frontier, Nationp. 6
Beginningsp. 12
Geography and Ecologyp. 15
Pontus Euxinus, 700BC-AD500p. 25
The Edge of the Worldp. 26
"Frogs Around a Pond"p. 29
"A Community of Race"p. 33
How a Scythian Saved Civilizationp. 37
The Voyage of Argop. 40
"More Barbarous Than Ourselves"p. 42
Pontus and Romep. 45
Dacia Traianap. 50
The Expedition of Flavius Arrianusp. 52
The Prophet of Abonoteichusp. 55
Mare Maggiore, 500-1500p. 65
"The Scythian Nations are One"p. 67
Sea-Firep. 71
Khazars, Rhos, Bulgars, and Turksp. 73
Business in Gazariap. 81
Pax Mongolicap. 87
The Ship from Caffap. 91
Empire of the Comnenip. 93
Turchiap. 98
An Ambassador from the Eastp. 101
Kara Deniz, 1500-1700p. 111
"The Source of All the Seas"p. 113
"To Constantinople--to be Sold!"p. 116
Domn, Khan, and Derebeyp. 119
Sailors' Graffitip. 125
A Navy of Seagullsp. 129
Chernoe More, 1700-1860p. 139
Sea and Steppep. 141
A Flotilla on Azovp. 143
Cleopatra Processes Southp. 147
The Flight of the Kalmoucksp. 150
A Season in Khersonp. 154
Rear Admiral Dzhonsp. 157
New Russiap. 161
Fever, Ague, and Lazarettop. 168
A Consul in Trabzonp. 172
Crimeap. 177
Black Sea, 1860-1990p. 189
Empires, States, and Treatiesp. 192
Steam, Wheat, Rail, and Oilp. 195
"An Ignoble Army of Scribbling Visitors"p. 200
Trouble on the Kostence Linep. 204
The Unpeoplingp. 207
"The Division of the Waters"p. 215
Knowing the Seap. 219
The Prometheansp. 224
Development and Declinep. 227
Facing the Waterp. 239
Sources for Introductory Quotationsp. 248
Bibliography and Further Readingp. 251
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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