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Jerusalem is the universal city the capital of two peoples the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today's clash of civilisations. From King David to Barack Obama from the birth of Judaism Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict this is the epic history of 3 000 years of faith slaughter fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small remote town become the Holy City the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem's biography is told through the wars love affairs and revelations of the men and women - kings empresses prophets poets saints conquerors and whores - who created destroyed chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city its cast varies from Solomon Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel Nebuchadnezzar Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser Disraeli Mark Twain Rasputin and Lawrence of Arabia. Drawing on new archives current scholarship his own family papers and a lifetime's study Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism identity and empire in a unique story of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem: the only city that exists twice - in heaven and on earth.
Jerusalem lies at the centre of the world, the capital of three faiths, the prize of many conquerors, the jewel of many empires, and the eye of the storm of today's battle of civilisations. But the city lacks a biography. It lacks a secret history. Simon Sebag Montefiore's epic account is seen through kings, conquerors, emperors and soldiers; Muslims, Jews, Christians, Macedonians, Romans and Greeks; Palestinians and Israelis; from King David via Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Herod, Caesar, Cleopatra, Jesus and Saladin, to Churchill, King Hussein, Anwar Sadat and Ariel Sharon. Their individual stories combine to form the biography of a city - a gritty, dramatic, violent tale of power, empire, love, vanity, luxury and death, bringing three thousand years of history vividly to life. In the course of its history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. It has been Arab, Persian, Jewish, Roman, Greek, Babylonian, Turkish, Marmeluke, British, Byzantine, Crusader, Ottoman; Napoleon almost took it but marched past, Kaiser William visited, the Allied forces fought for it in the First World War. The extraordinarily rich history of this small city in the Judean hills forms nothing less than a history of the world.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore
- 27 January 2011
- Hardcover (Book)
- 1st Edition
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