546: Neal Ascherson: Black Sea. Coasts and Conquests: From Pericles to Putin

This book explores the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea. Author recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid’s place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Christian Goths; the Tatar Khanates; the growth of Russian power across the grasslands, and the centuries of war between Ottoman and Russian Empires around the Black Sea. He examines the terrors of Stalinism and its fascist enemy, both striving for mastery of these endlessly colourful and complex shores, and investigates the turbulent history of modern Ukraine.

“The shore itself, worn and quiet, speaks of the patience of rock, sand and water which have received much human restlessness and will outlive it.”

Neal Ascherson “Black Sea. Coasts and Conquests: From Pericles to Putin”. First published in 1995. This revised edition with an updated foreword by the author is published by Vintage in 2015. Donated to the library by Lior Christine Locher from UK. There’s also a map of St Ives in Cornwall made into an artwork by her and a note on a handmade paper ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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