In The Shadow Of The Sword

The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World

«Written with flamboyant elegance and energetic intensity, Holland delivers a brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomaniacal empresses and visionary prophets . . . Unputdownable»

Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Times

In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. Les mer

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In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world.But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate.In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.

Detaljer

Forlag
Abacus
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
592
ISBN
9780349122359
Utgivelsesår
2013
Format
20 x 13 cm

Om forfatteren

Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. His bestselling books include Rubicon: The Triumph and the Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Persian Fire, which won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award; Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom; In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World; Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar; and Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind.

Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC. His translation of Herodotus was published in 2013 by Penguin Classics and followed in 2016 by a history of Æthelstan published under the Penguin Monarchs series, and in 2019 Æthelflæd England's Forgotten Founder as a Ladybird Expert Book. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association prize, awarded to 'the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome'.

Holland hosts (with Dominic Sandbrook) the no.1 podcast The Rest is History. He has written and presented a number of TV documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, on subjects ranging from religion to dinosaurs. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors; as Chair of the PLR Advisory Committee and was on the committee of the Classical Association.

@holland_tom

Anmeldelser

«Written with flamboyant elegance and energetic intensity, Holland delivers a brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomaniacal empresses and visionary prophets . . . Unputdownable»

Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Times

«It is difficult not to be bedazzled by a cast that includes ulcerated Christian holy men, Zoroastrian priests obsessed with dental hygiene, demonic emperors, barbarians with self-inflicted cranial deformities and Arab ambassadors stinking of camel»

Richard Miles, Financial Times

«Sweeping and perceptive. His major achievement is to set out just how uncertain is our grasp on the immediate setting of Muhammad's life, and on the formation of the Koran. At this moment in world history above all, it should be required reading»

Professor Sir Fergus Millar

«Holland is a restless wanderer across the ancient world, both geographically and intellectually... A dazzling range of characters... Holland is a skilful and energetic narrator, and while he guides us along the more intricate twists and turns of the period, he also keeps our eyes on the bigger story»

Anthony Sattin, Observer

«Holland leaves almost no aspect of the traditional story of Islam intact as he charts its rise to global power from the ashes of the Roman and Persian empires»

Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

«A work of history, trying to tell the truth, as modern historians understand that fraught concept... A gripping, colourful book»

Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

«A handsome volume, tackling an important question from a novel perspective, backed by useful notes and written in an accessible and fluid style»

Michael Scott, Sunday Telegraph

«A brave and valuable attempt to train the lens of popular history upon an exceptionally contentious field of study... elegant and entertaining... In the Shadow of the Sword stands as a useful, and sometimes provocative, starting point for anyone interested in approaching the birth of Islam from a historical, rather than devotional, perspective»

Thomas Ashbridge, Literary Review

«Tom Holland is a writer of clarity and expertise, who talks us through this unfamiliar and crowded territory with energy and some dry wit... The emergence of Islam is a notoriously risky subject, so a confident historian who is able to explain where this great religion came from without illusion or dissimulation has us greatly in his debt»

Spectator

«This is a book of extraordinary richness... Tom Holland has an enviable gift for summoning up the colour, the individuals and animation of the past, without sacrificing factual integrity... He is also a divertingly inventive writer with a wicked wit... This is a history of history as it were... wonderfully hard-hitting analysis, elegantly tied into the unfolding narrative of events, with each religious establishment exposed in all its glory and treacherous realpolitik... a spell-bindingly brilliant multiple portrait of the triumph of monotheism in the ancient world»

Independent

«Elegantly written and refreshingly free from specialist jargon... marshalling its resources with dexterity, it is a veritable tour de force»

Malise Ruthven, Wall Street Journal

«Those unwilling to struggle through academic texts have long needed a guide to the story of Islam as it's understood by those with the fullest access to the latest linguistic and archaeological evidence. Now at last in Tom Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword, they finally have it»

David Frum, Daily Beast

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