The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean
As a 'Medieval Warm Period' prevailed in Western Europe during the tenth and eleventh centuries, the eastern Mediterranean region, from the Nile to the Oxus, was suffering from a series of climatic disasters which led to the decline of some of the most important civilisations and cultural centres of the time. This provocative study argues that many well-documented but apparently disparate events – such as recurrent drought and famine in Egypt, mass migrations in the steppes of central Asia, and the decline in population in urban centres such as Baghdad and Constantinople – are connected and should be understood within the broad context of climate change. Drawing on a wealth of textual and archaeological evidence, Ronnie Ellenblum explores the impact of climatic and ecological change across the eastern Mediterranean in this period, to offer a new perspective on why this was a turning point in the history of the Islamic world.
• Introduces a wealth of new data on the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, of interest to climatologists and scientists as well as historians, classicists, archaeologists and anthropologists• Offers a new approach to the history of the Mediterranean and the Islamic World during the Middle Ages• Presents a detailed narrative of the impact of climatic change on civilisations, as well as its subsequent domino effects