A sea voyage in the 12th century was a perilous undertaking, as a Spanish Muslim courtier’s account of his crossing of the Mediterranean demonstrates. Yet, explains David Abulafia, it was also a test of one’s religious devotion, whether Muslim or Christian.
David Abulafia considers Columbus’ first encounters with the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, and shows how they challenged European preconceptions about what it meant to be human.
David Abulafia reassesses the life and motives of a notorious ruler and the complex web of Renaissance diplomacy involving him which led up to the Italian wars.
In his book The Sicilian Vespers, Sir Steven Runciman wrote: 'The massacre was one of those events in history which altered the fate of nations and of world-wide institutions. To understand its importance we must see it in its international setting.'