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.

Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.