David Abulafia

A historian and Professor Emeritus at Cambridge University, his work sheds light on the complexity of Mediterranean history.

©︎ Yao Lia

David Abulafia (Twickenham, England, 1949) is a historian, fellow of the British Academy and of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and also Professor Emeritus at Cambridge University. His commitment to academic inquiry is reflected in the fact that he is a member of the Academia Europæa, as well as being visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw, and also visiting Beacon professor at the new University of Gibraltar. In 2003 he was appointed Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana in recognition of his writings on the Mediterranean.

Several of his works have been translated into Spanish, including A Mediterranean Emporium: The Catalan Kingdom of Majorca, Cambridge 1994 (Un emporio mediterráneo: el reino catalán de Mallorca (Omega, 1996), The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus, New Haven, CT 2008 (El descubrimiento de la humanidad: encuentros atlánticos en la era de Colón (Crítica, 2009), and The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms, 1200-1500: The Struggle for Dominion, Longman, 1997 (La guerra de los doscientos años: Aragón, Anjou y la lucha por el Mediterráneo, Pasado y Presente, 2017). His study The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans, London 2019 (Un mar sin límites: una historia humana de los oceános, Crítica, 2019) was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 2020. This historical account analyses how humans have related with oceans, understanding them as a means that has enabled exchanges of products and ideas. He wrote it as an companion volume to his earlier work The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean, Oxford 2011 (El gran mar. Una historia humana del Mediterráneo, Crítica, 2013). The English publication of 2011 was awarded the British Academy Medal and the Mountbatten Maritime Award, the latter prize also being awarded to The Boundless Sea. One of his articles may be read in Catalan in the jointly authored volume Mediterraneum: l’esplendor de la Mediterrània medieval, s. XIII-XV (Lunwerg, 2009).

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