By Peter Mansfield

ISBN-10: 0143121901

ISBN-13: 9780143121909

The definitive background of the center East, completely revised and up to date via 2012

some of the most an important, risky, and intricate areas of the trendy global, the center East has lengthy confounded the desires of conquerors and peacemakers alike. This now-classic booklet, absolutely up to date to 2012 and nonetheless the basic paintings at the topic, follows the ancient struggles of the center East from Napoleon’s crusade in Egypt and Syria, throughout the sluggish decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the Israeli-Palestinian clash and the background of Islam and its contemporary resurgence.

For this fourth variation, Economist correspondent Nicolas Pelham contributes an intensive new part reading contemporary advancements through the center East, together with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the location in Iran, the region’s kinfolk with the us lower than President Obama, the Arab Spring, and more.

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A fortress outpost was established which lasted about two hundred years. Today Ikaros is called Failaka and is part of Kuwait. Alexander’s dream of a vast united Hellenistic empire did not survive his early death, as his conquests were disputed between his generals. But Hellenistic civilization remained dominant in the successor empires which stretched from Persia to Egypt, and the cities which Alexander founded continued to flourish. Egypt prospered under the wise rule of the early Ptolemys. Alexandria, with its library and museum, became a splendid city and the intellectual centre of the world.

But the Egyptian Mamlukes rallied to inflict a crushing defeat on the Mongols at Ain Jalout in Palestine in 1260. In that it saved the heartlands of the Muslim world from being overwhelmed, this was one of the decisive battles in the history of the world. The Mongol threat was far greater than that of the Christian crusaders, but it was also short-lived.

The Jewish people were divided between a Hellenized educated upper class which broadly accepted Seleucid rule and a peasantry which clung to their Judaic faith. When, in 168 BC, the Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes ordered the altar of Zeus, ‘the abomination of desolation’, to be set up in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Judas Maccabaeus, the son of a priest, led the fervent Jews in a revolt. Although Judas was killed, his family founded a dynasty of priestprinces – the Hasmonaeans – who gradually extended their rule to cover most of Palestine as the Seleucid Empire disintegrated.

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A History of the Middle East by Peter Mansfield


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