Studies in the Medieval Atlantic

Hardcover | May 15, 2012

EditorBenjamin Hudson

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Studies in the Medieval Atlantic is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that answers the question: what did the Atlantic Ocean mean to medieval north Europeans? Contributors analyze the Atlantic Ocean of the seventh to sixteenth centuries through literary, environmental, and historical approaches, studying it as an area that transcended ethnic or political boundaries. Covering exciting topics such as the influence of the oceanic landscape on the Irish imagination; Basques, English, and Scandinavian whaling rivalries; Norse understanding of oceanography, law and 'Thing-mounds' in Scandinavian colonies; logistical considerations for armies around the Atlantic; and the Spanish decisions to pursue an Atlantic or Mediterranean empire, this collection advances the argument that the region was a sub-community with its own culture and commerce.

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Studies in the Medieval Atlantic is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that answers the question: what did the Atlantic Ocean mean to medieval north Europeans? Contributors analyze the Atlantic Ocean of the seventh to sixteenth centuries through literary, environmental, and historical approaches, studying it as an area that tran...

Benjamin Hudson is a professor of History and Medieval Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Among his books are Viking Pirates and Christian Princes, Irish Sea Studies, and (editor) Familia and Household in the Medieval Atlantic World.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.96 × 5.67 × 0.88 inPublished:May 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120830

ISBN - 13:9780230120839

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Table of Contents

PART I:Transnationalism and Environment* Desert Islands: Europe‘s Archipelago as Ascetic Landscape - Alfred Siewers * Subsistence Whaling and the Western North Atlantic: Norsemen, Basques, and Whale Use - Vickie Szabo * Greenland Norse Knowledge of the North Atlantic Environment - Thomas Haine * PART II:Colonialism *The Manx Sea Kings and the Western Oceans:The Late Norse Isle of Man in its North Atlantic context, 1079-1265 - Andrew McDonald *More Savage than the Sword?: Logistics in the Medieval Atlantic Theatre of War - David Beougher * Into the Atlantic or Into the Mediterranean: Spanish Military Choices in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries - Kelly DeVries

Editorial Reviews

"This remarkable collection of essays offers unusual and thought-provoking vistas onto medieval Europe's history. It recasts familiar narratives of medieval conversion, colonization, and conquest by situating them in the Atlantic Ocean's special connectivity. Its welcome expansions of medieval maritime history range from discussions of Irish monks' 'liquid desert' to precocious Norse 'save the whales' tendencies, passing through Manx sea kings' sustained predation and more fleeting Atlantic hegemonies, like those of late medieval Iberian rulers. It nicely outlines a medieval Atlantic made of inter-related environmental, cultural, and political currents." - Paolo Squatriti, author of Water and Society in Early Medieval Italy  'Hudson's finely crafted opening essay effectively frames the six essays that, together, from different angles and using varied sources, illustrate how the environmental fact of the Atlantic was a force in shaping aspects of the thinking and practices of medieval Europeans.' - Richard W. Unger, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Study and Department of History, University of British Columbia 'Hudson's Studies in the Medieval Atlantic breathes a gale of life into an unknown chapter of humanity's last great global expansion. Threads of history, archaeology, and Norse sagas reveal the explorations of monks, Norse farmers, whalers, Irish sea-kings, and others who led the way. Taming the unruly North Atlantic bridged the barrier that separated western and eastern streams of humanity. It also extracted the largest toll in human lives and resources of any other human geographic endeavor. Centuries of advances in ship technology and accumulation of nautical skills, coupled with amazing human ingenuity and courage were required as demonstrated here in topics ranging from driftwood and whales to commerce, law, and national honor.' - William Fitzhugh, curator, North American Archaeology and Director, Arctic Studies Center