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In the shadow of the sword : the battle for global empire and the end of the ancient world / Tom Holland
Interest category: World history & travel
Media class: Hardback
Publisher: Little, Brown, 2012
ISBN: 1408700077 9781408700075 9780748119516 0748119515
Control number 1408700077
Spanning Constantinople to the Arabian desert, and starring some of the most remarkable rulers who ever lived, Tom Holland tells a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement.
Islamic Empire, History
This book is not an easy read; firstly, it takes, as one of its objectives, a review of the historical evidence regarding the birth of Islam and the conclusions to which Holland has come have attracted the opprobrium of certain adherents of that faith. Right, that’s the elephant in the room out of the way. Secondly, the book covers a period from 224 to 800, which is a lot of years to cram into 430 pages (which does not include the chronology – vital – the dramatis personae – likewise – and the many pages of supplementary notes on the points raised in the chapters.) This is not a book to rush through; it will need the backflipping of pages to refresh yourself on details that you may have noticed but – due to the densely-packed narrative - you might have forgotten about. This is because Holland’s prose style is almost novelistic and this makes his account of the end of the classical world and the rise of the three monotheistic faiths and their transformation into the religions we know
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