Il Mediterraneo romano fra connettività e frammentazione

ANNO 56 2015
Elio Lo Cascio

The Roman Mediterranean between «Connectivity» and «Fragmentation»

The Corrupting Sea by Horden and Purcell, with its ecological perspective, has been guiding the debate on Mediterranean history over the last fifteen years, especially in the English-speaking world; however, it does not seem to have had a similar impact on Italian historians of the ancient world. Against the idea of a never-changing history until modernization, Italian historiography insists on discontinuities and breaks characterizing the evolution of Mediterranean space from antiquity to contemporary times. In particular, it is important to emphasize the impact that its political unification had on «connectivity» – something that occurred only once in Mediterranean history, although lasting for seven centuries. It is indeed during this long period of stability when the whole Mediterranean basin enjoyed a level of prosperity not to be attained again prior to modernization.

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