Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and the Peloponnese

Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and the Peloponnese

Robert D. Kaplan

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0375714332

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Artful and intelligent . . . . Kaplan's book has made its own mark. . . I am able to feel the sense of an exotic and timeless part of the world.”
— Bob Hoover, Pittsburg Post-Gazette

“[Kaplan] helps the distant past resonate today. . . . [He] teaches lessons that are informative and concise.” –The Washington Post Book World

“A writer of extraordinary intellect and passion . . . with a wonderfully lucid way of relating history as a living thing.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Erudite and intrepid. . . . [Kaplan] is a deft guide to wherever he chooses to lead you.” –The New York Times

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Berber strongholds; malafahs, the head wraps of Tunisian Bedouin women, fastened by silver brooches; Aid el Kebir, the Great Feast of Sacrifice, honoring the story of Abraham and Isaac, which fell on December 15 that year. Carthage’s defeat in the First Punic War—like Germany’s in World War I—led to anarchy at home. In Germany’s case, troops returned from the front to a destitute country and formed radicalized workers’ movements, from which the Nazis emerged. In the case of Carthage, the

Berber strongholds; malafahs, the head wraps of Tunisian Bedouin women, fastened by silver brooches; Aid el Kebir, the Great Feast of Sacrifice, honoring the story of Abraham and Isaac, which fell on December 15 that year. Carthage’s defeat in the First Punic War—like Germany’s in World War I—led to anarchy at home. In Germany’s case, troops returned from the front to a destitute country and formed radicalized workers’ movements, from which the Nazis emerged. In the case of Carthage, the

enchanting realm of books that revealed how travel writing, rather than a low-rent occupation for the Sunday supplements, could also be a means to explore art, history, literature, and statecraft: it was in Greece where I began to figure out how to make a living. 13 LITERARY BYZANTIUM In Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Paul Fussell writes that “the explorer seeks the undiscovered, the traveler that which has been discovered by the mind working in history, the tourist

but by those who are the most committed, and those who are the most committed are often not entirely rational. But what they lack in rationality they make up for in passion. Mount Athos was full of passion. The icons I saw there were artistic manifestations of emotion more than of intellect, or of clever analysis. I remember parting with my two new friends at the Russian monastery of St. Panteleimon, which on the eve of the Russian Revolution had boasted a population of 1,500 monks: in 1913

Mantinea, its tiled roofs hugging the sides of a mountain. In the Peloponnesian War, Mantinea dominated a mini-alliance of surrounding city-states that allied itself with Argos and Corinth to resist being engulfed by nearby Sparta. Passing through rolling fields of flowering judases, the Parnon range rose to my left. To my right, to the southwest just before I reached Sparta, the saw-tooth ramparts of the Taygetus rose sheer under a grim cloud mantle to a height of seven thousand feet. The sea

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