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In The Shadow Of The Sword

The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World

In The Shadow Of The Sword by Tom Holland
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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.

Little, Brown Book Group; April 2012
480 pages; ISBN 9780748119516
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: In The Shadow Of The Sword
Author: Tom Holland
  • News
David's Book Club: In the Shadow of the Sword - Daily Beast
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 15:18:25 -0700
Daily BeastDavid's Book Club: In the Shadow of the SwordDaily BeastIf Tom Holland's skeptical retelling of the history ...
Origins of Islam - First Things (blog)
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:03:50 -0700
Origins of IslamFirst Things (blog)As Tom Holland says (In the Shadow of the Sword), “Whole centuries' worth of scholarship ...
The Origins of Islam: Tom Holland Explains New Book 'In the Shadow of the Sword' - Daily Beast
Wed, 09 May 2012 01:54:45 -0700
Daily BeastThe Origins of Islam: Tom Holland Explains New Book 'In the Shadow of the Sword'Daily BeastIn an excerpt ...

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