Jerusalem: The Biography

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Simon Sebag Montefiore looks at how did the small, remote town of Jerusalem became the Holy City, the “center of the world,” and the key to peace in the Middle East. Jerusalem: The Biography tells the city’s story through the wars, love affairs, and revelations of the kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.


Simon Sebag Montefiore

Comments [13]

Ed from Larchmont

The capital of David's kingdom, Jerusalem, was 15 acres in size, now the Vatican, the center of Catholicism, is 16 acres in size.

Nov. 12 2011 02:28 PM
Ed from Larchmont

'If (Solomon) really existed.'

There are fourteen books in the O.T. where the purpose is the recount history, two are first and second Kings, where we read about Solomon.

Leonard Lopate is logical- he wants to discount the possibility that faith is true, so he has to undercut it at every point, in specific to suggest that the Bible is myth and imagination. It's just not the case.

Nov. 06 2011 08:59 AM
nut from passiac

all religions should respect that others have the right to worship their own god in their own way. because thre or four religions consider jerusalem central or important to their faith the

Nov. 01 2011 08:22 PM
natar from nyc

Mr. Montefiore does not seem to be aware that there did already exist a pretty complete and unbiased history of Jerusalem by Karen Armstrong, first published in 1996. His sounds like a whole lot of fun to read though!

Nov. 01 2011 02:05 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jews have been the largest group since records began in the mid 1840s. TOday, Arabs are about 38% of the overall population, but growing. But on what basis to split the capital? That is the question.

Nov. 01 2011 01:56 PM

I have to comment now in order to confirm my prediction.

Contrary to Mr. Montefiore's assertion, crucifixion was not a "preferred" Roman punishment. Romans were a very organized society with laws and regulations with punishments fitting crimes. Crucifixion was the punishment for REBELLION.

That's why Jesus was crucified - Romans believe he wanted to be a king of Jews. That's why Jews during Judean wars were crucified - for rebellion against the Roman empire.

Nov. 01 2011 01:49 PM
kdan from NYC

Jerusalem is a holy city to four great faiths, not three: don't forget the Bahais.

Nov. 01 2011 01:47 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Herod, who was the offspring of Nabatean Arabs who were converted to Judaism, was a puppet set up by the Romans, and was never accepted by the Jews as a legitimate heir to the throne of David. He was a puppet usurper, offspring of Arab converts. He did not build the second temple but upgraded it magnificently to become of the most beautiful structures of the Mediterranean world at that time. He did so to try to get affection from the Jews who he ruled over, but with little success. He to Mariamne, the supposed last scion of the line of David, and did love her, and ended up killing her in a rage, Pickled her in a barrel and grieved over her. But he was a master builder who really put Judea on the map at that time.

Nov. 01 2011 01:45 PM

The special, G_d - chosen Israelites!

All others be damned!

Nov. 01 2011 01:41 PM



Nov. 01 2011 01:40 PM

I anticipate a lot of comments for this segment - Jews vs. ignorant and antisemites.

jgarbuz is watching.... and listening....

Allah Akbar?

Nov. 01 2011 01:18 PM
anon from new jersey

Name witheld for safety concerns:

From Montefiore's text

"Religions begin with a spark revealed to one charismatic prophet - Moses, Jesus, Muhammed."

This is not quite accurate.

First, it omits one of the most important points in the founding of Judaism; that 600 thousand families together experienced prophecy and that they preserved this in testimony to the subsequent generations.

Second, Judiasm was over a thousand years old and keeping a written history when those others appeared on the scene. They were, indeed, individuals claiming prophecy. We rejectected those claims while we did accept others, some even more controversial, that came before and after.

Montefiore's text is a false equivalence based on false premises.

Nov. 01 2011 12:28 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jerusalem, the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah under Kings David and Solomon, is back in Jewish hands, and must remain united at all costs.

The city was divided from 1949 to 1967 with barbed wire along the Mandelbaum gate with Jordanian snipers above, and Jews not being permitted to pray at the Western Wall. Re-division of the city will not bring peace, only more strife, and after the reuniting of Berlin despite what the Germans starting two bloody wars in the last century, why should the capital of the sole Jewish state be redivided yet again? For what, peace? That isn't going to happen. That's a false hope.

Peace will happen when the Muslim states and the rest of the world accept Israel as the restored homeland and state of the Jewish nation, as the League of Nations mandated in 1922.

Nov. 01 2011 12:11 PM

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