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200 pages
Mediterranean circularities / Circolarità mediterranee, 5
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Paperback (December 2018)
ISBN-13 9788891312099
ISBN-10 8891312096
Price to be announced
Not yet published
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Literary Studies
Medieval Studies
Tales of the 'The Salt Sea'
Women, Goddesses, Pirates and Legends traveling in the Medieval Mediterranean
series edited by Roberta Morosini and Lorenzo Braccesi
The book traces through text and images the journey of women, goddesses, pirates and stories traveling in the Medieval Mediterranean from the 13th century's poems of Floire and Blancheflor and Aucassin and Nicolette, to The Book of the Knight Zifar, Dante's Comedy and Boccaccio' s works. The goal of this book is twofold: to follow the journey of women and goddesses crossing the Salt Sea, as Virgil and Dante would call it, but also to trace the journey of texts and legends through the same waters. In the first part of the book the author addresses her approach to the study of the Mediterranean and puts forward an attempt to map the medieval Mediterranean through stories. By following the journey of texts and legends the goal is to reconsider the Mediterranean as a place of exchange but also as a network of knowledge that makes it a Mare historiarum, the Sea of Stories.

The second part of the book inquires into the Mediterranean as a space of human history, crossed by men and women, merchants and pirates, taking into account the political and economical role played by the sea also in the traffic of Christian and Saracens slaves. Here the author raises the question about the role of the Mediterranean in the lives of women who cross this sea in Boccaccio's De Mulieribus and the Decameron. This second question is strictly related to the first and examines the sea as a structural space in/of Dante's Commedia and Boccaccio's Decameron as a whole, and in medieval romance. The Mediterranean, now freed of sirens and marine monsters, has become for Dante and Boccaccio a privileged space of their civic humanism. Although through those stories we also get the darkest pages of the trade in women and slaves in the medieval Mediterranean, the image of a boat that bridges Muslim Tunisia with Christian Sicily, Africa with Europe, conveys the idea that the Mediterranean is not a sea of division but can actually put in dialogue, different cultures and faiths.
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