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Publisher Description

In this 'thrilling. . .profoundly important book' (Christopher Hart, Sunday Times) and Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, the acclaimed author of Rubicon gives a panoramic-and timely-account of the rise of Islam

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.

'A compelling detective story of the highest order, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a dazzlingly colourful journey into the world of late antiquity. Every bit as thrilling a narrative history as Holland's previous works, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a profoundly important book. It makes public and popular what scholarship has been discovering for several decades now; and those discoveries suggest a wholesale revision of where Islam came from and what it is' (Christopher Hart, Sunday Times)

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2012
5 April
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
480
Pages
PUBLISHER
Little, Brown Book Group
SELLER
Hachette Australia Pty Ltd
SIZE
12.4
MB

Customer Reviews

Thylacine boy ,

A good read, and highly relevant today

Tom Holland writes in a very engaging style, which is particularly important in such a broad and complex subject as this. He uses history to pull aside the fabric of mystery surrounding the development of the major so-called Abrahamic religions, and reveals the less edifying and somewhat tenuous underpinnings of their temporal authorities over millions of their followers. This is recommended reading for anyone truly interested in the roots of today's most antagonistic religions.

More Books by Tom Holland

2019
2011
2011
2014
2013
2016