By: Simon Montefiore
I read this book on my Kindle but after finishing I had a strong desire to own it in hardback with all its paper splendor.
Another strong desire I am developing is to produce a timeline chart which will have Jerusalem historical events; political, peaceful, war and religion on one side: maybe on the left. Adjacent to it will be the same sort of information based upon our North America. Maybe not N. America but just my home state of Georgia or maybe just my home town. I like the home town idea even though it is very limited but because after all Jerusalem is only a town and all of us live today in a manner traceable there. Okay! Not if you are a real Easterner because if you are you might be free of any enlightenment or baggage with stems to such a place. But, on the other hand maybe the world is just not old enough for the shadows of the area to reach you. Then again, I recall a time as a child that my Mother would occasionally get letters from China. The letters were written by a childhood friend of hers that had become a Christian Missionary. This would have been right after our Second World War and if you do not accept any of that war as a tie to Jerusalem then surely you can envision a shadow emanating from the religious actions of Christian missions. So, the show is not over.
There is so much history described in this huge work that it simply overwhelmed me. That is why I needed a hard copy because I will be referring to it often after the Kindle has become just another toy. As with the time after most books we read there will be names of people and places mentioned in everyday conversation and unless you are like one of my fellow workers you will not be able to pin it down to the specific time and place but we know it can be found in that, or one of, those books. This book, for me, will be a first choice for reference purposes.
Already the book has led to my next read: A Jew Among the Romans. I have finished the introduction and now I am comfortably into continued discussion of times and places I have been prepared for by “The BIOGRAPHY” only now I will learn about the writings of one man that lived the life of Jerusalem as an ancient. This means he arose in the mornings without modern conveniences, he ate when possible as an ancient. He wrote during a time when the difficulty of it is not understood by me or probably you. I am speaking of the Jew – Josefius.
From “Jerusalem, The Biography” I developed a sense of the place to be a magnet which attracted two sets of peoples. Those that wanted to embellish themselves by conquering it and those that wanted to embellish the hope that someday, somewhere, somehow there would be a better life than what they were then living.