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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

FLAUBERT'S ‘Salammbô’

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AT THE START OF FLAUBERT'S Salammbô  I thought his spectacular descriptions bordered on the grandiloquent – was it possible there were quite so many different races amongst the mercenaries at Carthage?....Gauls, Balearics, Romans, Lydians, Namidians to name but a few!

On arrival in Patmos, in the remote Eastern Aegean, the Goddess Amazon.com bequeathed me ‘The Great Sea A Human History of the Mediterranean’  by David Abulafia, Flaubert was fully vindicated….in 1000BC, Libyans, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Philistines, Ethiopians, Cananites, Hittites conquer, enslave, trade or enrol as mercenaries in each others armies….what a contrast to the provincial France of poor Madame Bovary!

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