Jerusalem Besieged offers a sweeping history across the millennia, yet focuses on a single location—a view of centuries of often violent battles for one city.
Author Eric Cline tells the story of four thousand years of struggles for control of Jerusalem, a city central to three major religions and held sacred by millions of people throughout the world. No other city has been more bitterly fought over throughout its history. Jerusalem, whose name to some means “City of Peace,” has seen at least 118 separate conflicts during the past four millennia—conflicts that ranged from local religious uprisings to strategic military campaigns.
Many of those disputes altered the course of history in the region, and sometimes in the larger world as well. Some have had political or religious consequences that are still important today, despite intervening decades, centuries, or millennia. These battles of yesterday also feed the propaganda of today, as the events of history are used and abused by modern military and political leaders, including Yasser Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, and Ariel Sharon.
Written for the general reader, Jerusalem Besieged chronicles the struggles of four millennia, sets their contexts, and demonstrates their continuing relevance to the social and political problems of the Middle East today.