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From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Mai 1998

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"Elegant, poignant . . . courageous . . . pitting the idealism of the past against the hatred, dispossession, and denial of the present." --Karen Armstrong, author o"f History of God"
"This splid book should take its rightful place on the same shelf as Chatwin's In Patagonia. [It is] rich with the poetry of antique places and transports the fascinated reader smoothly into a vanishing world . . . There are, finally, innumerable wonderful stories in From the Holy Mountain." --Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post Book World"
"Dalrymple is a born travel writer, with a nose for adventure and a reporter's healthy skepticism. His quirky, exhilarating mosaic will appeal to readers of all faiths." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)


In the spring of 587 AD, two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the stylites and the desert fathers before their world shattered under the great eruption of Islam. More than a thousand years later, using Moschos's writings as his guide, William Dalrymple set off to retrace their footsteps. Despite centuries of isolation, a surprising number of the monasteries and churches visited by the two monks still survive today, surrounded by often hostile populations. Dalrymple's pilgrimage took him through a bloody civil war in eastern Turkey, the ruins of Beirut, the vicious tensions of the West Bank and a fundamentalist uprising in southern Egypt. His book is an elegy to the slowly dying civilization of Eastern Christianity and the peoples that have kept its flame alive.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Nothing this man writes can go wrong! Not usually my field of interest, Christianity and its remains in the middle east, but, boy does he know how to bring the theme of repression alive! A remarkable piece of writing on a subject few know much about...
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x99803798) von 5 Sternen 29 Rezensionen
16 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x99e81498) von 5 Sternen Great travelogue, sometimes weak on facts 14. März 2006
Von Gerard Lynch - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is depressing, consicence-alerting, yet great fun at the same time. Travelling from Mount Athos, via Istanbul to Turkish Kurdistan, then to Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and finally Egypt, Dalrymple surveys the condition of Near Eastern Christianity on the verge of the third Christian millennium. For the most part, this is a depressing story of a community in terminal decline, facing pressure from extremists and economic chaos. While there is no doubt that his sympathies lie with the Christians, he can be deeply critical of them where he feels it is deserved - for example there is no doubt that the holds the Maronites of Lebanon almost entirely responsible for the Lebanese Civil War.

As a travelogue, it generally makes good reading, with an excellent balance between keeping the pace moving and covering people and places in enough depth. His ability to conjure images of places is remarkable - really feel like I'm on the plains of the Tür Abdin, or winding down the mountain road from Damascus to Beirut with him. Sometimes, it has to be said, he lays on the 'gee-whiz I'm an Englishman abroad in scary countries with bombs and tanks and things' attitude a bit too much. While he occasionally has a factual lapse or three, he more than makes up for it in atmosphere.

Perhaps the most interesting and amusing sections deal with the various wacky heretical Christian sects which inhabited the shatterzone between the Greek and Persian worlds before the arrival of Islam.

This book annoyed a lot of extreme American fundamentalists (of both the Christian and the Jewish varieties) for being rather critical of Israel's decades-long campaign of cultural and economic pressure on the Palestinian Christians. What better recommendation to buy the book to you need!

One minor gripe, I never do trust fellow Celts who think of themselves as merely North- or West-Britons. Dalrymple regards English football hooligans rampaging through Istanbul as his 'fellow countrymen' stuck me as bizarre. Are you really a Scot, William?

And I have one big question if Dalrymple ever reads this... he seems not to speak a word of Turkish or Kurdish yet he seems to have these interesting conversations with Kurdish builders about the Armenians... Are all these guys fluent in English or something? 'Coz that's a part of the world I know very well, and in my experience, they don't English any more than your average Dunfermline brickie speaks Kurdish. If you can really do that without the lingo, William, could you give me a masterclass in sign language?

It also seems to fair to point out that the situation for Christians in some parts of the Middle East, notably Turkey and Egypt, has improved considerably in the 10 years since this book was researched.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9959ea50) von 5 Sternen Great reading 16. Juli 2003
Von az1963 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A very well written book, with beautifully weaved historical, geographical and politicals elements related to a long list of monasteries from Athos, Greece to Southestearn Turkey/Syria all the way to Egypt. Highly readable! The relatively obscure history of Byzantium is unfolded in a very interested viewpoint.
I was mostly impressed by the sharp analysis of the influences of neighboring religions/civilization on the evolution of christianity in the geographic area of Turkey/Syria/Iraq/Persia.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x99e84f30) von 5 Sternen one of my favourites of all time 21. Juli 2006
Von Anthony - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
From the Holy Mountain deserves to be put along side such other classics of the genre as the Road to Oxiana and a Time of Gifts. It is erudite, witty, scholarly & compassionate in its treatment of the subject of Christian Minorities in the Middle East. This book means so much to me as I travelled in the very same areas covered at approximately the same time the research for the book was undertaken. I can confirm the total accuracy of the authors assessments. The book both confirmed and provided illumination as to what I had seen with my own eyes and heard from the communities depicted. This remarkably accomplished work deserves to be read by everyone with an interest in the Middle East. As far as I am concerned, my only quibble is I wish it was twice as long, so as to prolong the enjoyment of what is still the most authoritative and important book about the subject. Do yourself a huge favour and buy this book.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x99e84c24) von 5 Sternen Complex, fascinating, eye-opening 26. April 2005
Von Denise M. Galloway - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Did you know that the Middle East is home to Christians---a lot of them? Before reading this book, it never clicked for me that the ancient traditions of Christianity are alive in communities throughout the land where they began. Author William Dalrymple recreates the journey of John Moschos, a saint from the 500's, beginning in Greece and traveling through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. He discovers how much the Middle East has changed since the days of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and how much it has stayed the same. He discusses art, politics, history, and theology, discovering connections between eastern and western Christian traditions and the continuity of the Christian faith no matter what the culture. This is an eye-opening look at not only the politics of the Middle East but also the existence of Middle Eastern, ancient Christian churches.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x99ead2b8) von 5 Sternen A TRAVEL BOOK THAT TAKES YOU OUT OF YOUR CHAIR 27. Mai 2007
Von C. NEWMAN - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I could not put this book down once i had started it. I was absolutely fascinated by Dalrymple's descriptions of modern day early Christian sites. The alternative veiwpoint he offers about the archeological situation of these sites in the Middle East and the way of living of the local Christian population absorbed me from the very beginning. I found the story so interesting that I visited Lebanon early this year. It was exactly as I expected and I look forward to returning. Hopefully I shall return to the region soon. I have been interested in early Christian sites in Egypt and the Coptic Church there but this book has opened up a whole new vista for me. I would encourage those who can, to visit the area and support tourism. I was the only foreign visitor to Baalbek (Lebanon)on the day I visitedand it was the same at other world famous sites in Lebanon, and that is a very sad situation. The people are friendly, courteous and open-hearted,the food delicious, the tourist sites awe-inspiring, and the driving?well, best you take a taxi and close your eyes! William Dalrymple's book sparked a love-affair in me with these places and those who live there.
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