L a Mer des Califes, a challenging and erudite work, deserves a wide audience. It raises many new questions in centering the Mediterranean in early and medieval Muslim history and historiography. The sea, Christophe Picard argues, was a preoccupation of empire and the stuff of memory. A proper English translation is very much in order.1 Readers should be forewarned that, particularly for modern works, Picard’s annotation is rather spare. He furnishes citations, to be sure, but these are few relative to the wealth of his discussion; the decision is likely to have been editorial, as the volume seems intended for a broad audience. This is less a failing of an excellent book than a source of regret that one cannot more readily engage its many ideas.
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