Listen free for 30 days

  • The Great Sea

  • A Human History of the Mediterranean
  • By: David Abulafia
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
The Great Sea cover art

The Great Sea

By: David Abulafia
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Try for £0.00

£7.99 per month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for £31.99

Buy Now for £31.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.  

For over 3,000 years, the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the great centres of civilisation. David Abulafia's The Great Sea is the first complete history of the Mediterranean, from the erection of temples on Malta around 3500 BC to modern tourism. Ranging across time and the whole extraordinary space of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Jaffa, Genoa to Tunis, and bringing to life pilgrims, pirates, sultans and naval commanders, this is the story of the sea that has shaped much of world history.

©2019 David Abulafia (P)2019 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Great Sea

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable & informative

To my mind this is, in the end, a fantastic historical overview of the most essential civilised activity, trade, in the places where it has mattered most. It encompasses diplomacy, warfare, religion, language, culture, migration, law, custom and everything else but really it is about the momentous effects of humans doing what humans always want to do. Brilliant narration of a very entertaining and informative text.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An education.

I thought that I was quite well up on the history of the civilisations of the Mediterranean. I was incorrect. Loved this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive but slightly old fashioned style

Well written, and deeply researched but not for me. It's very much in the style of 'this happened, then this, then this'.rather than the motivations of the protagonists. I persisted hoping it would improve, but i just couldn't stay with it.
Jonathan keeble is great - as always and this book might work for you if you know you enjoy his style. for me, it was hard work and not enjoyable

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Daunted then Delighted.

This book was a challenge for me because there is so much detail and so many names to try and register.
I got a bit anxious about my ability to cope with it all but when I started to relax I loved it.
What did continually strike me was how well read it is. If it was a challenge to me as a listener how much of a challenge to the narrator - Brilliant job by him.
Fascinating story and I am left in awe of
the scholarship. I was a bit daunted by
the book but I really loved it and will
go on to listen to The Boundless Sea.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Magnificent

A wonderful, engaging journey through the centuries of human contact and conflict, that underpins the premise there's nothing new, just another age in history and will we ever learn.
For those who struggle with timelines, the book is brilliant. The right balance of major historical events and figures and yet single human stories, brings alive the history in a powerful way.
wherever you go around the Mediterranean after listening, you will hopefully look out on the water and acknowledge and connect with the many thousands of lives with their cultures and faiths, it has affected. leading us to where we are today. Still searching for identity, purpose and peace.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Incredibly interesting history of the Mediterranean. It starts in pre-history and comes right up to modern times. I learned a lot about the history and tensions in the region, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The narration was just fine.