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Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 (2008)

von Barry Cunliffe

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4201147,483 (4)40
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.… (mehr)
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Europe Between the Oceans is something like a textbook; not a breezy read. There is a strong focus on trade. With an interest in history, I enjoyed the book from start to finish. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
Apparently, the British have an unlimited supply of prominent archaeologists, and Barry Cunliffe (° 1939) undoubtedly is one of them. Cunliffe was a professor at Oxford and has since published on the Celts and Scythians, two peoples on the fringes of what used to be colloquially known as the ‘civilized world’. This focus is also illustrated in this book, as Cunliffe mainly zooms in on ‘barbaric’ Europe. He does this on purpose, because he wants to demonstrate that cultures developed in these so-called non-civilized areas must not be underestimated and formed an entangled network with more prominent areas as Greece and Rome.

Cunliffe has put an unlikely amount of information in this book, resulting in a very dense yet readable text. Especially for the period from 1500 to 100 BCE, there is a lot of information in it that I did not know yet. The strength of this book are not only the numerous illustrations, but especially the exceptional map material, apparently specially developed for this book (although not all maps are equally relevant). Still, I don't think this work is a complete success: in his encyclopedic zeal, Cunliffe regularly gets caught on errors of detail, and especially at the end he loses overview and the book gets bogged down in a succession of names and dates. I also have an issue with the strange chronological delineation of the book (especially that he lets it run until the year AD 1000), with a certain teleological slant (the later 'greatness' of Europe was already apparent before the 11th-12th century), and with a distinctly Eurocentric look. For those comments, see my review in my History account on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1425917406 ( )
  bookomaniac | May 22, 2021 |
A really nice brief history of Europe focusing on geography and how it effected people migrations, trade and empires. I enjoyed this quite a bit, although it was slow in parts.

2009 (my first Club Read entry)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/54129#981396 ( )
  dchaikin | Oct 4, 2020 |
9000 BC - AD 1000
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
This is an excellent overview of European cultural movements from 10,000 BCE to 1,000 CE. I don't know much about ancient history but to my ear, at least, this book didn't seem to push any particular agenda or theory to the exclusion of others. The author of course has a position wherever the facts (or their interpretation) are in doubt but he's not evangelical. The maps, charts and illustrations are really well thought out and the narrative is well balanced geographically and across time periods. The slightly awkward title doesn't really do justice to Cunliffe's steady emphasis of geography - coasts, rivers and mountains - as the driver of many of the major twists in the European story. The other constant factor is trade, and what surprised me most was the evidence for wide-ranging trade contacts and networks throughout European prehistory, the Vikings hardly being more active in this regard than their forebears of ten millenia earlier. ( )
  yarb | Oct 3, 2015 |
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The westerly excrescence of the continent of Asia, which we call Europe, came to dominate the world during the course of the second millennium AD.
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (2)

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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2 Ausgaben dieses Buches wurden von Yale University Press veröffentlicht.

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