Dr. Joel Pattison on Medieval Maritime History of the Mediterranean Sea
The old days of oared ships, Algiers, Venice, and Genoa
We like to look back occasionally on the American Shoreline Podcast and examine historical trends to see what light they can shed on our current situation. Dr. Joel Pattison (Yale-Cambridge-Cal Berkeley) joins Tyler Buckingham and Peter Ravella to explore the implications of one of the great sea trading periods and regions on the planet, the Mediterranean Sea. This is truly a "scratch the surface" conversation with a great scholar on a topic that is fascinating, intricate, and relevant to coastal communities today. We would spend a day with Dr. Pattison if we could. From the 12th - 15th centuries, maritime trade was a driving force for civilization, diplomacy, politics, and economics around the Mediterranean, including the invention of insurance and finance. It was traders and merchants who had to learn to get along with societies of different religious traditions, divergent political beliefs, and competing alliances. It was through maritime trade that we humans cross-pollinated culturally. Sea traders pushed ship-building technology, port infrastructure, invented dredging, and even contended with pandemics. The world "quarantine" was a medieval maritime term from Venice (first enforced in 1377) to keep ships from plague-stricken countries waiting off its port for 40 days to assure that no latent cases of the plague were aboard. Essentially, it was the first "Stay at Home Order." Set sail with this intriguing conversation about medieval maritime trade, one of the coolest shows we've ever done on ASPN.