“Dawn and Sunset”-editorial service


The second edition of my manuscript has been edited.

That was a nice chance to reread everything or at least large chunks of the text. I learned a new word, “humankind”, to be used instead of “mankind”. I also learned a new way of recording the endnotes.

I rejected only one thing-a suggestion to move Afterword to Introduction. The latter was put together for the first edition already in 2010 and remained structurally unchanged. The former was assembled from little insertions at the onset of each unit. I also added one or two new paragraphs and changed some old ones to reflect the outcome rather than serve as a declaration of intentions.

I was asked to give instructions to the Illustrations Department about the five black-and-white images to go with the book. There should be a map of Mesopotamia and four abstract characters of a scribe, farmer, merchant, and warrior. These are anonymous heroes of the early Mesopotamian civilization.

The coordinator of the project suggested to add a few ready-made images. I liked one of them, a copy of a famous painting The Tower of Babel.

I would be happy if it can accompany my book. Not only because it’s beautiful. I have a chapter which explains that this symbol matches the early Mesopotamian civilization. In the first edition a similar image was chosen for the front cover. It also suits the title.

Nautical guides (1)


I’m looking through available information concerning three medieval nautical guides written in the 12-13 centirues: the Liber de existencia riveriarum, the Compasso da navigare, and the Portolano dell’ Adriatico e Mediterra. I’d like to contrast them in terms of their dating, language, authorship, scope and density of data, and particular details. It will be part of my future article “The Anguish and Thrill of Navigation” devoted to the European seafarers in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Late Middle Ages.