The Adriatic is a closed sea, a frontier separating East and West, a body of water that unites and divides at the same time - a place where political, cultural, religious, and national boundaries intersect and overlap. Even seas have a history, as great historians have taught us (one need only mention Braudel and his great "Mediterranean"). This book tells the story of the Adriatic from ancient times to the present, the tale of the peoples who have lived on its shores, who have traded and travelled across it, the saga of the powers - such as Byzantium, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire - that established their dominion over it. The book also addresses the struggles that have been fought over it, by the Hapsburg Empire, Italy, the West, the Communists, and former Yugoslavia's successor countries. From thousands of years of navigation, commerce, war, and co-habitation, the author draws a portrait of a civilization that emerged from the waves, that indeed owes its very existence to the sea.
Egidio Ivetic teaches Early Modern History and History of the Mediterranean at the University of Padua.