Book Review – ‘Shipping, Trade and Crusade in the Medieval Mediterranean: Studies in honour of John Pryor’ by Ruthy Gertwagen and Elizabeth Jeffreys (eds)
This book consists of 20 essays on the medieval Mediterranean, divided into three rubrics – shipping, trade and the crusades. The studies, which are of high scholarly value and for pinpoint specialists, are in honour of the eminent scholar John Pryor. The focus of this review will be on the essays which deal with maritime matters.
One of Pryor’s chief interests is in medieval naval warfare. Benjamin Z. Kedar, ‘Prolegomena to a World History of Harbor and River Chains’, deals with the deployment of chains in harbour warfare. Kedar, who provides a useful list of chained harbours, notes that the first recorded instance of this device was in 260 BC when the citizens of Syracuse deployed a chain against an assault of Roman naval forces….