Jerusalem is the site of some of the most famous religious monuments in the world, from the Dome of the Rock to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the Western Wall of the Temple. Since the nineteenth century, the city has been a premier tourist destination, not least because of the countless religious pilgrims from the three Abrahamic faiths.
But Jerusalem is more than a tourist site--it is a city where every square mile is layered with historical significance, religious intensity, and extraordinary stories. It is a city rebuilt by each ruling Empire in its own way: the Jews, the Romans, the Christians, the Muslims, and for the past sixty years, the modern Israelis. What makes Jerusalem so unique is the heady mix, in one place, of centuries of passion and scandal, kingdom-threatening wars and petty squabbles, architectural magnificence and bizarre relics, spiritual longing and political cruelty. It is a history marked by three great forces: religion, war, and monumentality.
In this book, Simon Goldhill takes on this peculiar archaeology of human imagination, hope, and disaster to provide a tour through the history of this most image-filled and ideology-laden city--from the bedrock of the Old City to the towering roofs of the Holy Sepulchre. Along the way, we discover through layers of buried and exposed memories--the long history, the forgotten stories, and the lesser-known aspects of contemporary politics that continue to make Jerusalem one of the most embattled cities in the world.
Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge.
Table of Contents
The Center of the Christian World
The Center of Jewish Jerusalem
The Center of Muslim Jerusalem
The Old City
The Oldest City
The Victorian City
The Modern City
What People are Saying About This
Neil Asher Silberman
A fascinating journey through Jerusalem's most memorable places—and among its most colorful personalities, and epoch-making events. Simon Goldhill is a master historian and expert guide who reveals much that is unexpected about this revered, fought-over, and often misunderstood city. Engaging in tone, superbly written, and admirably even-handed, this book offers a compelling new portrait of the many souls of Jerusalem. Neil Asher Silberman, co-author of The Bible Unearthed
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