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An acclaimed, award-winning book on a fascinating subject, recently revised and updated by the author.

Black Sea is a homage to an ocean and its shores and a meditation on Eurasian history, from the earliest times to the present. It explores the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea.

Ascherson recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Christian Goths; the Tatar Khanates; the growth of Russian power across the grasslands, and the centuries of war between Ottoman and Russian Empires around the Black Sea. He examines the terrors of Stalinism and its fascist enemy, both striving for mastery of these endlessly colourful and complex shores, and investigates the turbulent history of modern Ukraine.

This is a story of Greeks, Scythians, Samatians, Huns, Goths, Turks, Russians, Ukrainians and Poles. This is the sea where Europe ended. It is the place where 'barbarism' was born.

UPDATED WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR

Reviews

Every page is freighted with rich and fascinating detail

Independent

A brilliant biography of place. The complex social, ethnic and extraordinary ecological histories of this region - combined with vivid anecdotes and encounters - provide the background for stimulating reflections

Guardian

Must certainly be among the year's most memorable non-fiction books

Financial Times

A scholarly desktop travel through lost worlds

The Times

A genuinely compelling book: erudite, original, beautifully written

Literary Review

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784700911

    June 15, 2015

    Vintage

    304 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook

    9781446418994

    February 15, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

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