Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Learning | The Conquest of the Ocean

[Cover]Author Brian Lavery tackles a vast subject in this new non-fiction Dorling-Kindersley book for adults. It examines the history of seafaring all over the world, including exploration, ship design, cultures, trade routes, slave ships, and much more.

The Dorling-Kindersley publishing company is well known for its beautifully illustrated children's books on all sorts of scientific and historical topics. I see children check them out to use in reports, but I also see them check them out just for fun. 

I'm glad to see that some of that fun is present in this title for grown-ups. There are beautiful, easy-to-read maps, drawings and photographs that enrich the impact of the informative text. It would be helpful to students doing reports on various subjects, but it's also entertaining for anybody interested in ships, the ocean, different cultures, and history.

Mayan Codex

This book is recommended for readers from 8th grade and up.

The Spanish Armada

As I began reading Conquest of the Ocean, I asked myself, for the tri-galoompty oomptieth time, what is the origin of the word maritime? I knew it was an adjective used for things that are "of the sea," like Maritime Law, or the Maritime Provinces on the eastern coast of Canada.  

Photo courtesy of  Andrea Schaffer's photostream on Some rights reserved.
Neil's Harbour, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. July 15, 2012.
Photo courtesy of  Andrea Schaffer's photostream on Some rights reserved.

Most dictionaries identify the Latin word mare (sea)  as the root word, but they don't specify the part that puzzled me--the last half of the word. The word sounds like it should have something to do with time, but further investigation revealed it doesn't. The origin of the second half of the word is also Latin: it comes from the superlative ending, -timus. This ending gave us English words like ultimate (very last) and intimate (close.) 

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