How did oceans shape human history?

Prof. David Abulafia

Territory, food, commerce and conquest: what role have the seas played in the development of the nations we see today?

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Throughout history, seas were one of the most important sources of food and commerce for civilisations. They played a key role in accelerating the development of certain communities and proximity to water has always been a sign of abundance. However, most of the literature out there has always focused on routes, ships architecture, or maritime wars.

Professor David Abulafia's research is more interested in understanding what kind of goods people were transporting on their ships and what they were used for. In this intriguing talk, we will get on a journey in the Mediterranean as well as South East Asia to discover how the oceans shaped our history.

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50 minutes


Amazing Oceans

About the Fellow

Prof. David Abulafia

David Abulafia is Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University, where he has spent his entire career, and Papathomas Professorial Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Amazing Oceans Collection

Covering almost three-quarters of the Earth, our amazing oceans are vast, beautiful, scary and relatively unexplored. This collection brings to the surface fascinating insights and stories across ocean science, conservation and culture.