Download Abrégé d'histoire du climat : Du Moyen Âge à nos jours by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie PDF

By Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

Brillante et courte synthèse, suggestive et instructive, des résultats de près d’un demi-siècle de recherches historiennes sur le climat.

Un élément essentiel dans les débats en cours sur l’avenir de l. a. planète.

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Sample text

Best of all, there journeyed through the passes small parties of travellers, merchants, or even pilgrims on their way to Rome to pray at the tombs of the Apostles. What could be more tempting than to ambush them on the road? As early as 920 or 921, some AngloSaxon pilgrims were battered with stones in a defile, and from then on such crimes were of frequent occurrence. The Arab djichs or armed bands were not afraid to venture astonishingly far north. In 940, we find them in the neighbourhood of the upper Rhine valley and in the Valais, where they burned the famous monastery of Saint-Maurice d’Agaune.

A little more than 65 feet long as a rule, they could either be propelled by oars or sailed, and each carried an average of forty to sixty men, no doubt closely packed. The speed of these vessels, 1 The ‘Northmen’ to whom records of Anglo-Saxon origin sometimes give prominence are—according to the usage even of the Scandinavian texts; Norwegians, as distinct from Danes stricto sensu. 16 THE NORTHMEN judging by the model constructed from the Gokstad find, was easily as much as ten knots. 1 For, to the Northmen, as to the Saracens, the waters were only a pathway to the plunder of the land.

From an early date the Arabs had been sailors. From their lairs in Africa, Spain, and especially the Balearics, their corsairs attacked the western Mediterranean. Nevertheless, in these waters, traversed by only a very few ships, the trade of pirate in the true sense of the word had not been very profitable. In the mastery of the sea, the Saracens—like the Scandinavians in the same period—saw above all the means of reaching coasts whence they could carry out profitable raids. From 842 they went up the Rhône as far as the approaches of Arles, plundering both banks on their way.

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