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    The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam (Emblems of Antiquity) (Hardback) By (author) G. W. Bowersock

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    DescriptionJust prior to the rise of Islam, in the sixth century AD, southern Arabia was embroiled in a holy war between Christian Ethiopians and Jewish Arabs. The Jewish kingdom, composed of ethnic Arabs who had converted to Judaism more than a century before, had launched a bloody pogrom against Christians in the region. The ruler of Ethiopia, who claimed descent from the union of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and even was rumored to possess an object no less venerable than the Ark of the Covenant, aspired both to protect the persecuted Christians and to restore Ethiopian control in the Arabian Peninsula. Though little known today, this was an international war that involved both the Byzantine Empire, who had established Christian churches in Ethiopia beginning in the fourth century, and the Sasanian Empire in Persia, who supported the Jews in a proxy war with Byzantium. Our knowledge of these events derives mostly from an inscribed throne at the Ethiopian port of Adulis seen and meticulously described by a Christian merchant known as Cosmos in the sixth century. Trying to decipher and understand this monument takes us directly into religious conflicts that occupied the nations on both sides of the Red Sea in late antiquity. Using the writings of Cosmas and archaeological evidence from the period, historian G. W. Bowersock offers a narrative account of this fascinating but overlooked chapter in pre-Islamic Arabian history. The extraordinary story told in Throne of Adulis provides an important and much neglected background for the rise of Islam as well as the collapse of the Persian Empire before the Byzantines.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Throne of Adulis

    The Throne of Adulis
    Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) G. W. Bowersock
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 208
    Width: 145 mm
    Height: 213 mm
    Thickness: 15 mm
    Weight: 340 g
    ISBN 13: 9780199739325
    ISBN 10: 0199739323

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: REL
    BIC subject category V2: HBLC
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T6.0
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3F
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FBX
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HRAX
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    Ingram Theme: CULT/AFRICN
    BISAC V2.8: HIS001000
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    Libri: ENGM2000
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15520
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    BISAC V2.8: HIS026000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 07
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    Libri: RELI4000
    DC22: 939.49
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC23: 939.49
    LC subject heading: , , , , ,
    LC classification: DS231 .B69 2013
    LC subject heading: ,
    Ingram Theme: ASPT/HISTAS
    BISAC region code:
    Thema V1.0: QRAX, NHG
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    8 illus. 2 maps
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    04 October 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    G. W. Bowersock is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of more than 300 articles and books on Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern history, as well as the classical tradition in western literature.
    Review quote
    "The Throne of Adulis shows Bowersock at full bent... Bowersock has brought a novel freshness to this grand narrative. He fastens with delight on new pieces of evidence, from each of which he derives conclusions that significantly alter our view of the whole story...Bowersock has taken us back to a moment of time when the future of the Middle East still hung in the balance...the pre-Islamic Middle East, Arabia, and the Red Sea have been thrown open for us by Glen Bowersock." --Peter Brown, New York Review of Books"[A] splendid new book." --Peter Thonemann, Times Literary Supplement"G W Bowersock amply achieves his aims in a most elegant fashion.... My summaries cannot convey the intense delight of reading The Throne of Adulis, which so lightly steps from language to language to delineate and richly explain its fragments of evidence, the implications of which accumulate into explanations of poorly known yet momentous events. G W Bowersock's latest is no more than an extended essay yet it outranks many multi-volume treatises." --Edward N Luttwak, Literary Review"This highly erudite study makes a noteworthy and heavyweight contribution to a complex subject. It does so in an unfussy and discreet manner that belies the impact it will have for scholars working in this field." --Peter Frankopan, History Today"Bowersock brilliantly weaves together a sixth-century description of a now lost marble throne from modern Eritrea with new scholarship on Ethiopia and South Arabia in Late Antiquity, with fascinating results for the perennial problem of Islamic origins." --Averil Cameron, author of The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity"Bowersock probes the complexities of pre-Islamic Arabia and finds flourishing Jewish and Christian communities at each other's throat, and pagans of monotheist bent. An ingenious, cutting-edge book, with answers for those wondering who needed the Qur'an's Third Way." --Garth Fowden,
    Table of contents
    Preface ; Abbreviations ; List of Maps and Illustrations ; Maps ; I. The Throne ; II. A Christian Traveller in the Red Sea ; III. Ptolemy's Elephants ; IV. The Kingdom of Axum ; V. Christianity Comes to Axum ; VI. Judaism Comes to Himyar ; VII. The Ethiopian Invasion of 525 ; VIII. Entry of the Great Powers ; IX. Reckoning ; Appendix: Nonnosus ; Bibliography ; Index