Europe is a maritime continent, its history and culture decisively shaped by the exploration and use of the surrounding seas. For Europeans, the sea has long served as a space of rule and trade, bridge and border, resource and desire.
This gorgeous volume examines the importance of the sea for the development of European civilizations, featuring more than four hundred illustrations spanning more than two millennia of European maritime cultural history. Chapters explore thirteen themes, each linked to a port city--moving from myths and the artistic perception of the sea, to the sciences of shipbuilding, seafaring, and oceanography, and from the sea's role in the slave trade, migration, and expansion, to its importance for coastal trade and tourism. Richly illustrated throughout, Europe and the Sea demonstrates that the domination of the seas has been a central component of European power politics for centuries.