This book investigates how ideas of and discourses about Europe have been affected by images of the Mediterranean Sea and its many worlds from the nineteenth century onwards.

Surprisingly, modern scholars have often neglected such an influence and, in fact, in most histories of the idea of Europe the Mediterranean is conspicuously absent. This might partly be explained by the fact that historians have often identified Europe with modernity (and the Atlantic world) and, therefore, in opposition to the classical world (centred around the Mediterranean). This book will challenge such views, showing that a plethora of thinkers, from the early nineteenth century to the present, have refused to relegate the Mediterranean to the past. Importance is given to the idea of a distinct ‘meridian thought’, a notion first set forth by Albert Camus and now reworked by French and Italian thinkers. As most chapters argue, this might represent an important tool for rethinking the Mediterranean and, in turn, it might help us challenge received notions about European identity and rethink Europe as the locus of ‘modernity’.

Mediterranean Europe(s): Rethinking Europe from its Southern Shores will appeal to researchers and students alike interested in European studies and Mediterranean history.

chapter |19 pages


Ideas of Europe and the (Modern) Mediterranean

chapter 2|19 pages

The Port of Europe

Hegel's Geophilosophy of History and the Spirit of the Sea

chapter 3|20 pages

Mediterranean Imaginaries

Europe, Empire, and Islam in the Nineteenth Century

chapter 4|18 pages

Cradle, Frontier, and Contact

The Mediterranean in Geohistorical Narratives of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries*

chapter 5|17 pages

‘Europe from Afar’

A Poetic History of the Jewish Mediterranean

chapter 6|19 pages

Max Weber in Southern Europe

The Problem with Work*

chapter 7|15 pages

Europe or the Mediterranean?

Paul Valéry and the French Debate of the 1930s

chapter 8|17 pages

‘A Liquid Continent’

Alterity and Continuity between the Mediterranean Sea and Europe in Gabriel Audisio's Interwar Works

chapter 9|22 pages

Mare Nostrum and the European Polity

Fascist Italy and the Mediterranean Sea in European Civilisation

chapter 10|21 pages


Rethinking Europe from Its Islands

chapter 11|14 pages

Mediterraneanising Europe?

How a German Book and the Mediterranean Perspective Could Help Us to Better Understand the EU and Its Crisis

chapter 12|27 pages

Myths and Making of the ‘Mediterranean World’

Some Afterthoughts