5.0 out of 5 stars
A prequel of Braudel, March 3 2001
Horden and Purcell have produced in The Corrupting Sea a comprehensive overview of the ancient Mediterranean world in the annaliste tradition of Braudel's Mediterranee et le monde mediterraneen a l'epoque de Philippe II. A historian of medicine (Horden) and a classicist (Purcell), the authors develop the thesis that one must examine the microenvironments of the Mediterranean in order to understand the broad trends of the region's culture and history.
This work is a must read for everyone who is interested in the Mediterranean --classicists and medievalists in particular. Every public library in the world would be well advised to purchase a copy. In addition to the narrative that is replete with extensive commentary, the volume has a very useful set of bibliographical essays as well as the normal scholarly apparatus.