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- Publisher: University of Chicago Press
- Format: Hardback | 204 pages
- Dimensions: 256mm x 286mm x 22mm | 1,520g
- Publication date: 12 August 2002
- Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
- ISBN 10: 0226311252
- ISBN 13: 9780226311258
- Illustrations note: 195 colour plates, 37 halftones, 3 maps, 27 line drawings
"If ever a dead city held romance it is Petra...Hewn out of ruddy rock in the midst of a mountain wilderness, sumptuous in ornament and savage in environs, poised in wildness like a great carved opal glowing in a desert, this lost caravan city staggers the most experienced traveller". So wrote Rose Macaulay in her "Pleasure of Ruins" (1953), echoing the sentiments of generations of travellers before and since. Reached through a narrow, winding crevasse betweem looming cliffs in south Jordan, Petra served as the capital city of the Nabatean Arabs from the 3rd century BCE to 106 CE (when it was occupied by the Roman emperor Trajan). In this book, Maria Giulia Amdasi Guzzo and Eugenia Equini Schneider provide an accessible overview of the history and culture of the Nabateans, including their language, religion, politics and economy, as well as a detailed guide to the city of Petra and its art and architecture. A major stop on the spice trade route, Petra attracted wealth and culture from across the Arabic and classical worlds and was abundantly furnished with more than 800 monuments. Perhaps the most well known of these is the Khazneh el-Faroun, or Treasury, a royal tomb more than 130 feet high with a magnificent Hellenistic facade carved from the salmon pink sandstone of the surrounding cliffs. But no less impressive were Petra's advanced achievements in hydraulic engineering, including elaborate water conservation systems and dams. For anyone who has felt the lure and wonder of ancient cities and civilizations in exotic locations, "Petra" should be a valuable resource.
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Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo and Eugenia Equini Schneider both teach at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in the Department of Historical, Archaeological, and Anthropological Sciences. Amadasi Guzzo is the author or editor of a number of books, most recently Scavi a Mozia: Le iscrizioni. Schneider is the author of three books, most recently Elaiussa Sebaste I: Campagne di scavo, 1995-1997. Lydia G. Cochrane has translated many books for the University of Chicago Press, including most recently, The Myth of Pope Joan by Alain Boureau and Opera Production and Its Resources edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli.
For hundreds of years, travelers have wound their way through a narrow crevasse in south Jordan to marvel at the grandeur and the mystery of a city called Petra-and emerged from that fissure directly before an awe-inspiring 130-foot-high Hellenistic facade carved from the salmon pink sandstone of the surrounding cliffs. This is the Khazneh el-Far'un, or Treasury, the best known of the more than 800 monuments created in Petra between the third century B.C.E. and 106 C.E., when it served as the capital city of the Nabatean Arabs. No less impressive were the other achievements of the Nabateans, and in this lavishly illustrated book, Maria Giulia Amadasi Guzzo and Eugenia Equini Schneider provide an accessible overview of their history and culture, including their language, religion, politics, economy, and a detailed guide to the city of Petra and its art and architecture. A major stop on the spice trade route, Petra attracted wealth and culture from across the Arabic and classical worlds and was abundantly furnished with architectural wonders-including advanced feats of hydraulic engineering such as dams and water conservation systems. For anyone who has felt the lure and wonder of ancient cities and civilizations, Petra will be a delightful and invaluable resource.