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Beasts or Brothers?

J.H. Elliott: When Columbus Met the Natives

3 July 2008
The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus 
by David Abulafia.
Yale, 379 pp., £25, April 2008, 978 0 300 12582 5
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Hans Staden’s True History: An Account of Cannibal Captivity in Brazil 
edited and translated by Neil Whitehead and Michael Harbsmeier.
Duke, 206 pp., £12.99, September 2008, 978 0 8223 4231 1
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... DavidAbulafia ends his engaging survey of the first encounters between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of the New World with the words of the prophet Malachi: ‘Have we not all one father? Has not one God ...


David Abulafia

31 October 1996
The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th-Century Spain 
by Benzion Netanyahu.
Random House, 1384 pp., $50, August 1995, 0 679 41065 1
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... they were the nobility of Jerusalem ‘that is in Sepharad’, as the prophet Obadiah had said, and as Bishop Alonso de Cartagena reiterated; and their leaders were reputedly of the stock of King David. To understand the fate of Jews and Muslims after 1250, in a period when virtually all of Spain except Granada was in Christian hands, it is essential to realise that there were two intellectual ...

Like Frogs around a Pond

Nigel McGilchrist: The Mediterranean

22 March 2012
The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean 
by David Abulafia.
Allen Lane, 783 pp., £30, May 2011, 978 0 7139 9934 1
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... The title of DavidAbulafia’s magisterial book comes, as he reminds us, from a Hebrew blessing, to be recited when setting eyes on the Mediterranean: ‘Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the Universe, who made the Great ...

Herberts & Herbertinas

Rosemary Hill: Steven Runciman

19 October 2016
Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman 
by Minoo Dinshaw.
Penguin, 767 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 241 00493 7
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... of disaffected upper-class young Englishman who might be persuaded to collaborate in the event of a German invasion and thereby gather useful information, but in the event not much was achieved. As DavidAbulafia put it, if ‘he was something more than a professor of Byzantine studies … it would be absurd to cast him in the role of James Bond.’ In truth the war was enormously useful to him ...

Jews’ Harps

Gabriel Josipovici

4 February 1982
Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse 
by T. Carmi.
Penguin, 608 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 14 042197 1
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... Rudolf’s Menard Press has made available the wonderful poems of Amir Gilboa (to my mind the best living Israeli poet), Yehuda Amichai, Leah Goldberg, Moshe Dor, Shlomo Viner, Dahlia Ravikovitch and David Vogel; Oxford have published Amichai and Carcanet Pagis; Tony Rudolf and Howard Schwarz have recently edited an enormous volume of modern Jewish poetry, which includes a 300-page section on Hebrew ...

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