Alan Judd

Civilisation’s watery superhighway

A review of Lincoln Paine’s The Sea and Civilization. A learned and deeply researched global view of maritime history

The Vikings arrive in England during the second wave of migration (Scandinavian school, 10th century)

The clue is in the title: this is not about the blue-grey-green wet stuff that covers 70 per cent of our planet’s surface. Rather, it’s about how the sea and our use of it have influenced us economically, culturally, religiously and politically:

Much of human history has been shaped by people’s access, or lack of it, to navigable water ….

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in