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 Romans, Arabs and Vikings


Spring Semester 2009

Seafaring in the Mediterranean in the Early Christian Era




Class notes

Q. 1st exam

Q. 2nd exam

1st Assignment

2nd Assignment

Class Notes

1. Introduction. Overview of the Course. Exams. Assignments. Essay. Readings. The Mediterranean Sea.

2. Ships and Shipbuilding: Basic Concepts I.

3. Ships and Shipbuilding: Basic Concepts II.

4. History: The Mediterranean Sea. Late Antiquity and the East-West split: from Diocletian to Theodosius (284-395 AD).

5. Case-studies: Roman Ships I - Mortise and tenon joints. The shipwreck of the Madrague de Giens (c. 60 BC).

6. Roman Ships II - The wreck of the Bourse de Marseilles (c. AD 200). Trade in the late Roman period.

7. History: Security in the seas. The Mediterranean in the 3rd to 5th centuries. Notitia Dignitatum.

8. History: Piracy. Roman Biremes. Liburnians: warships from the 1st to the 5th century AD.

9. History: From Theodosius to Heraclius (379-641 AD). The merchant world in the Mediterranean.

10. History: Army's needs, 2nd to 5th centuries. Roads, canals and harbors.

11. History: Urban demands, 3rd to 7th centuries. Bulk cargoes: grain and building materials. Amphoras: wine, oil, and fish sauce. Luxury cargoes.

12. Case studies: The Skerki Bank Shipwrecks, 1st century BC to 4th century AD. Trade routes and ship sizes through time.

13. History: The Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 AD).

14. Exam 1

Video: The Dark Ages (30 min) CB351.D37 1995. Case studies: Transition from shell to skeleton: Yass?ada II, Tantura A, and Yass?ada I.

16. History: Charlemagne (AD 742-814). The ships of the Franks.

17. Case studies: Lateen Rigging. The Bozburun shipwreck.

Video (first half of): Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain (DP101.C585 2007).

19. History: East and West. The Mediterranean during the Abbasid Period (750-1258 AD). The Mediterranean World in the 8th and 9th centuries. Western Europe. Eastern Europe. Northern Europe. The Muslim World.

20. Case studies: The "Saracen" wrecks: Estéou, Agay A and B, Batéguier. Tantura B shipwreck.

21. History: The Vikings arrive!

22: Clinker built ships.

23. History: The time of the cathedrals. The Mediterranean World in the 10th and 11th centuries.

24. Case studies: Dromons; prepared fire; Logistics of War. Leo's (866-912) Tactica. Prepared Fire. Galleys and trade.

25. History: The Crusading Era (1095-1291).

Video : Villard de Honnecourt (15 min) NC248.V52 V55 1986. Case studies: Ships of the time of the cathedrals: Serçe Liman? and Tantura F.

Video: The Renaissance (55 min) CB361.R25 2007.

28. History: Italy and the Renaissance, 1025-1453. The commercial explosion.

29. Case studies: The origin of the 3-masted ship. The Iberian Discoveries.

30. History: Guns and war at sea. The Ottomans and the End of the Middle Ages.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08