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Jerusalem: City of Longing
Simon Goldhill

9780674028661 Retail Price: $27.95
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Format: Hardcover, 368pp.
ISBN: 9780674028661
Publisher: Belknap Press
Pub. Date: May 14, 2008

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From The Publisher:

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.


Goldhill...provides an illuminating archeological, architectural and historical guide to Jerusalem's most important holy and secular sites from biblical times to the present...This is a highly knowledgeable and beautifully written look at both the "heavenly" and the "earthly" Jerusalem.
—Publishers Weekly

Simon Goldhill has written an elegant and evocative multi-religious history of Jerusalem. Rock by rock, myth by myth, the book guides the reader through an exhilarating visit to the city, exposing its magnetism and fragility, its light and darkness.
—Sari Nusseibeh, author of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life

A fascinating journey through Jerusalem's most memorable placesand 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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About the Author

Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge.

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