A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat by Christopher Catherwood

By Christopher Catherwood

In The short background of the center East writer Christopher Catherwood makes an attempt to teach how our complete global is eventually formed by means of occasions that experience spread out or have their foundation within the heart East. Catherwood insists that, except we enable lack of knowledge to blind us—which to a undeniable volume it already has—the center East must never be seen as ''some unusual position over there.'' 3 of the world's significant geared up religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all stem from the realm, as do defining civilizations from historic Egypt to Babylonia. Catherwood examines this storied quarter in the course of the lens of the current by way of asking those questions. How did the Palestinian factor come up? Why does Osama bin weighted down harp at the glories of Moorish Spain? Why did Islamic extremism turn out to be an alternative to Arab socialist nationalism for thus many? state-of-the-art headlines have transparent old factors, and The short heritage of the center East will convey that idea into concentration.

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Next we have the first of what Egyptologists describe as an 'Intermediate Period', one in which the power of the Pharaohs diminished, and no one single ruler was truly in control. The First Intermediate Period, dynasties seven to eleven, takes us down to 2040 BC. The Middle Kingdom, dynasties eleven and twelve, is the second major period of Egyptian civilization. Here power of the Pharaohs extended as far as Syria and they seem to have invented the short story as a form of literature. Amun-Re emerged as a synthesis of various pre-existing gods as a major deity in the Egyptian pantheon, with Osiris as a significant god for the afterlife.

But, very approximately, some time before 1000 BC the Jewish people decided that, like all the nations around them, they too had to have a king. Their first attempt, Saul, proved a failure, their second, David, a success. 16 ANCIENT EMPIRES David, whom some think reigned around 1010 to 970 BC,is a character known in scripture, but not necessarily to archaeologists. Even within Israel, theologically conservative specialists agree with his existence, those of a more sceptical bent do not. Billions around the world do, however, and a book such as the IVP Bible Dictionary (InterVarsity Press) gives helpful archaeological details for those for whom the traditional view is convincing.

This gave them an advantage over stillBronze Age tribes, and the Assyrian Empire began slowly to rebuild. ANCIENT EMPIRES In 745 BC their new king, Tiglath-Pileser III - known to generations of irreverent Victorian and Edwardian schoolboys as It Tickleth Me Fancy — began another series of conquests which included the Jewish northern kingdom of Israel, at which we will look later. It was the Assyrian King Sennacherib (d. 681 BC) who moved the capital to Nineveh, which was situated on the Tigris opposite the present-day city of Mosul.

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