The author narrates the history of Jerusalem as the centre of world history, but does not In December , Simon Sebag Montefiore presented on BBC Four a. “Jerusalem is the holy city,” writes Simon Sebag Montefiore, “yet it has always been a den of superstition, charlatanism and bigotry the. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s history of Jerusalem is a labour of love and scholarship. It is a considerable achievement to have created a sense of.

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Jerusalem: The Biography – Wikipedia

Maybe I am wrong about it being balanced?! Some pluses about this book are that he ties together a load of archaeological information in one volume, he does a good job of offering a fair account of the deeds and misdeeds of all three major religions over the years, and he has a unique and personal perspective to offer concerning this sacred biovraphy particularly in the epilogue.

Britain gave up the mandate in despair, and the first Arab-Israeli war immediately ensued. It was an incredible biogrzphy of the history of Jerusalem, beginning with King David and wrapping up with Zionism in the 20th Century.

Jerusalem: The Biography

While I consider myself an appreciator of history there was much that I was surprised to learn such as: If I say this is dense, I really mean it is d-e-n-s-e! Jerusalem is a synthesis based on a wide reading of the primary sources, ancient and modern, on personal seminars with specialists, professors, archaeologists, families and statesmen, and on the author’s multiple visits to Jerusalem, the shrines and archaeological digs.

This is the first book I have read by this particular author. I found myself laughing out loud at certain parts, not just his account of Captain Monty but also his sketch of some of the earlier pilgrims, who did not always arrive filled with holy purpose and celestial thoughts. View all 3 comments. He sort of sings the words. So it serves its main purpose beautifully.

I already knew about the deep links between Christianity, the Muslim religion and Jerusalem, but only by reading this book I came to the full appreciation of the very profound links between Jerusalem and the Jewish culture, identity and tradition.

Definitely recommend itbut remember this is a study of very different multitude of cultures, peoples and nationalitiesso don’t expect this to be an easy book. Another impressive work by Mr. The book also includes illustrationsnotes on the namesmaps and srbag trees of all the conquerors of Jerusalem. Montefiore has given what seems to me a fair treatment of the disputes that are still not resolved, observing near the end that both Jews and Palestinians have long historical associations with the Holy Land and with Jerusalem and that best of all outcomes would be that the two sides could agree to share the land and the old city, as the site of the holy mintefiore shared by three religions, in particular.


Having said that, there are a number of gems that the book contains and as a whole it provides enjoyable depth for those who love the city. Both had to make way for Muslims in the streets. Christian emperors took full control of Jerusalem. With the decision of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century to impose Christianity on both the eastern montefioore western empires, Judaism faced a new challenge.

Topics History books Book of the week. It was, however, a very long and detailed read, a mixture of the more relevant and the less relevant, and a non-academic work which means it needs to be taken with a grain of Hmm. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. This is an engrossing and all-encompassing narrative of the sweeping and volatile history of Jerusalem including the genesis and imp Jerusalem: Worth reading for those very interested in Thee and the three monotheistic faiths, but maybe not for everyone.

American fundamentalist Christians, excited since that Jerusalem was again Jewish, believe that the “second coming” is now imminent. Montefiore does an excellent job of stringing it all together, weaving a tale of considerable complexity into something eminently enlightening.

Jun 30, Shawn rated it really liked it. And this is one of those books that I’m most proud of being its editor The aftermath of WWII led to massive Jewish immigration and amidst the chaotic British withdrawal and the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews and Arabs committed atrocities against the other.

Rival places of worship were destroyed and new ones constructed with the stones of earlier buildings, thus making Jerusalem the most complicated archaeological site in the world. Its history is the history of East meeting West, of religion and realpolitik, of imperialism and indigenous rights.

At Ramle, 25 miles from Jerusalem on 20 April Napoleon issued a call for the restoration of Jewish rule in their ancient homeland, the Jews being the rightful heirs in the Holy Land. But given the sensitivity of the place, given its importance in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the kind of archaeology that would uncover so much of what is hidden has always been problematic, particularly around the area of the Temple Mount.

This jrusalem not a book that has to be read from cover to cover, on the contrary, it can be dipped in and out of at one’s leisure. What I mean by that is Montefiore does a very jerusaem job cataloging the important events and happenings of Jerusalem but for much of the book I felt like I was reading one long Wikipedia article.

Jerudalem revolt of the Jews against the Romans, or the building under the Umayyad caliphate of the Dome of the Rock, or the descent upon the city of the First Crusade, cannot hope to be explained in terms of material interests alone.


Adding Christians to the mix typically made matters worse. Destroyed by the Babylonians, it then suffered an even more calamitous sack at the hands of the Romans: Now that the peace process appears to have finally collapsed, Montefiore’s book indicates that the Jerusalem syndrome of the comparatively few may well affect us all.

The narrative is relatively readable, but for such a high-profile work I was actually surprised at the occasional sloppiness with well known facts and even the number of editing errors that it contained.

The main downside was pretty much due to that. And this book published right in time for Belgrade Book Fair in October just went for second printing Like Telegraph Books on Facebook. Montefiore tried to write little about lots of events, even those who are not that important when looking on Jerusalem’s broader history.

The holy land of Jerusalem is the shrine of the three Abrahamic religions: The glorious reign of King Solomon was followed by the disastrous division of his kingdom into the realms of Judah and Israel and the two destruction of the two kingdoms-most catastrophically the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the exile of the Jews to Babylon.

Overall, I thought that this book was an amazingly researched overview of Jerusalem: Use dmy dates from October Pages to import images to Wikidata. The author does add in some personal opinions too, not the done this for a history book, which should be impartial and non judgemental.

Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore – review | Books | The Guardian

There is so much history here, and the thought of all the research that Montefiore must have put into writing this makes ths exhausted, but I felt like I was barely skimming the surface. But, what make this book special and sets it apart from a lot of historical books about Jerusalem, is the style. Jan 20, Nick Van der Graaf rated it it was amazing. The pilgrims themselves were regarded by the locals as creepy and disreputable. His ease with the setting and historical characters is masterly.

Given this point I cannot understand why he should then oppose the growth of Jewish communities in East Jerusalem and Judea after as an ‘obstacle to peace’ I cannot agree that is illegitimate for Jews to build anywhere in the City of David or Judea.

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