An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World

Author: David Keys

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0345444361

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 3337


It was a catastrophe without precedent in recorded history: for months on end, starting in A.D. 535, a strange, dusky haze robbed much of the earth of normal sunlight. Crops failed in Asia and the Middle East as global weather patterns radically altered. Bubonic plague, exploding out of Africa, wiped out entire populations in Europe. Flood and drought brought ancient cultures to the brink of collapse. In a matter of decades, the old order died and a new world—essentially the modern world as we know it today—began to emerge. In this fascinating, groundbreaking, totally accessible book, archaeological journalist David Keys dramatically reconstructs the global chain of revolutions that began in the catastrophe of A.D. 535, then offers a definitive explanation of how and why this cataclysm occurred on that momentous day centuries ago. The Roman Empire, the greatest power in Europe and the Middle East for centuries, lost half its territory in the century following the catastrophe. During the exact same period, the ancient southern Chinese state, weakened by economic turmoil, succumbed to invaders from the north, and a single unified China was born. Meanwhile, as restless tribes swept down from the central Asian steppes, a new religion known as Islam spread through the Middle East. As Keys demonstrates with compelling originality and authoritative research, these were not isolated upheavals but linked events arising from the same cause and rippling around the world like an enormous tidal wave. Keys's narrative circles the globe as he identifies the eerie fallout from the months of darkness: unprecedented drought in Central America, a strange yellow dust drifting like snow over eastern Asia, prolonged famine, and the hideous pandemic of the bubonic plague. With a superb command of ancient literatures and historical records, Keys makes hitherto unrecognized connections between the "wasteland" that overspread the British countryside and the fall of the great pyramid-building Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico, between a little-known "Jewish empire" in Eastern Europe and the rise of the Japanese nation-state, between storms in France and pestilence in Ireland. In the book's final chapters, Keys delves into the mystery at the heart of this global catastrophe: Why did it happen? The answer, at once surprising and definitive, holds chilling implications for our own precarious geopolitical future. Wide-ranging in its scholarship, written with flair and passion, filled with original insights, Catastrophe is a superb synthesis of history, science, and cultural interpretation.

The Middle Ages in Texts and Texture

Reflections on Medieval Sources

Author: Jason Glenn

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442604921

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 6666


The Middle Ages in Texts and Texture is an introduction to medieval Europe unlike any other. These 26 essays, written by accomplished scholars all trained at the University of California, Berkeley, reflect on medieval texts and the opportunities they present for exploration of the Middle Ages. Introduced in a foreword by Thomas N. Bisson (Harvard University), these essays present a textured picture of the medieval world and offer models for how to reflect fruitfully on medieval sources. To help orient the reader, three maps, the editor's introduction, and an index are provided.

The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales

A Genetic and Genealogical History

Author: Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman,Donald N. Yates

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786476842

Category: History

Page: 244

View: 4372


"This book proposes that Jews were present in England from the Roman Conquest forward. Indeed, there has never been a time during which a large Jewish-descended, and later Muslim-descended, population has been absent from England. Documentaton in supportof this revisionist history includes contemporary DNA studies, genealogies, church records, place names and the Domesday Book"--

Second In Command: The Three Imperatives

Author: Dr. Paul A. Rivera

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 1462040624

Category: Fiction

Page: 180

View: 3218


The story’s time frame is set in the late 1700’s, nearing the end of the region’s Spanish monopoly on trade with increased competition for dominance among France, England and the Dutch. The time was wrought with complex and multiple world conflicts among the various and dominant world powers of the time. The American colonists had declared their independence from England. In support, and for self interests, other countries including Spain (with troops and supplies from Cuba and Puerto Rico) and France provided aid and logistics to the American colonists in their fight for independence. The political and economic strife in France had positioned it for upheaval and revolution. The Spanish monarchy had declared the “Americas” to be free and open to trade by all nations and the Caribbean Sea as well as the Atlantic sea routes had become a competitive arena among the major world powers of the time striving for dominance and economic opportunity. The story is presented in third person narrative form as it was the author’s intent to also incorporate historical facts of the time into the sequence of events, and sailors in particular may empathize as it utilizes many nautical terms and tactics in depicting many of the events at sea. In light of such, the various nautical terms and maneuvers that are introduced throughout are clarified in the appendices as an aid to readers not familiar with the tactics of sailing. It is the author’s hope that sailors and non sailors alike will find the incorporation of historical facts of the era with plausible fictional events a pleasant reading experience.

The Red Sea from Byzantium to the Caliphate

AD 500–1000

Author: Timothy Power

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1617973505

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 7232


This book examines the historic process traditionally referred to as the fall of Rome and rise of Islam from the perspective of the Red Sea, a strategic waterway linking the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean and a distinct region incorporating Africa with Arabia. The transition from Byzantium to the Caliphate is contextualized in the contestation of regional hegemony between Aksumite Ethiopia, Sasanian Iran, and the Islamic Hijaz. The economic stimulus associated with Arab colonization is then considered, including the foundation of ports and roads linking new metropolises and facilitating commercial expansion, particularly gold mining and the slave trade. Finally, the economic inheritance of the Fatimids and the formation of the commercial networks glimpsed in the Cairo Geniza is contextualized in the diffusion of the Abbasid ‘bourgeois revolution’ and resumption of the ‘India trade’ under the Tulunids and Ziyadids. Timothy Power’s careful analysis reveals the complex cultural and economic factors that provided a fertile ground for the origins of the Islamic civilization to take root in the Red Sea region, offering a new perspective on a vital period of history.

Thin Ice

Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains

Author: Mark Bowen

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1429932708

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 4160


"One of the best books yet published on climate change . . . The best compact history of the science of global warming I have read."—Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books The world's premier climatologist, Lonnie Thompson has been risking his career and life on the highest and most remote ice caps along the equator, in search of clues to the history of climate change. His most innovative work has taken place on these mountain glaciers, where he collects ice cores that provide detailed information about climate history, reaching back 750,000 years. To gather significant data Thompson has spent more time in the death zone—the environment above eighteen thousand feet—than any man who has ever lived. Scientist and expert climber Mark Bowen joined Thompson's crew on several expeditions; his exciting and brilliantly detailed narrative takes the reader deep inside retreating glaciers from China, across South America, and to Africa to unravel the mysteries of climate. Most important, we learn what Thompson's hard-won data reveals about global warming, the past, and the earth's probable future.

The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity

Author: Scott Fitzgerald Johnson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199996334

Category: History

Page: 1296

View: 4684


The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity offers an innovative overview of a period (c. 300-700 CE) that has become increasingly central to scholarly debates over the history of western and Middle Eastern civilizations. This volume covers such pivotal events as the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the origins of Islam, and the early formation of Byzantium and the European Middle Ages. These events are set in the context of widespread literary, artistic, cultural, and religious change during the period. The geographical scope of this Handbook is unparalleled among comparable surveys of Late Antiquity; Arabia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Balkans all receive dedicated treatments, while the scope extends to the western kingdoms, and North Africa in the West. Furthermore, from economic theory and slavery to Greek and Latin poetry, Syriac and Coptic literature, sites of religious devotion, and many others, this Handbook covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to scholars from a diverse array of disciplines. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity engages the perennially valuable questions about the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the medieval, while providing a much-needed touchstone for the study of Late Antiquity itself.

Buddha's Thunderbolt: the Uncredulous Tale of the Wizard Merlin

Author: Jacob Asher Michael


ISBN: 0557251931


Page: 303

View: 4945


What if everything you knew about the Wizard Merlin was wrong?What if Merlin was actually a Buddhist monk prone to hallucinations, who was taken as a slave by the Huns and transported to Europe? Buddha's Thunderbolt tells the tale of this most peculiar man, a 5th Century rationalist, who regards magic as bunk, druids as idiots, and knights as glorified thugs. The last thing he wants is for the inquisitive orphan boy he is mentoring to become a king.Most folks at the bay market think Merlin is a bit mad. He claims to have traveled from Britain through India to China and back. His surrealistic visions, from horrifying flashbacks to a chess match with Ganesha, are a burden he has learned to bear. But what of the mysterious Lady Gopi, who appears to him in various animal forms? Is she a delusion as well?

My Father's World

Celebrating the Life of Reuben G. Bullard

Author: John D. Wineland,Mark Ziese,James Riley Estep

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 160608870X

Category: Religion

Page: 234

View: 3626


My Father's World is a memorial volume celebrating the life of Dr. Reuben G. Bullard and it focuses on the archaeology and history of the Mediterranean world. The essays in this volume are all written by former students of Dr. Bullard, and the diverse range of topics highlights his broad interests in geology, archaeology, and biblical studies. Bullard was a long time Professor of Geology and Archaeology at Cincinnati Christian University. He pioneered the field of Archaeological Geology in the 1960s at Tell Gezer.


The Key Concepts

Author: Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Publisher: Berg

ISBN: 1847886108

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 3261


Globalization is the buzzword of the 21st century. If we live in a globalized world, what does this mean for our economies, our cultures, our work and leisure, even our sense of ourselves? Globalization: The Key Concepts presents an accessible and provocative guide to the way we live now. The causes and the effects of globalization are hotly disputed and the book aims to present the range of arguments in a clear and balanced way. However, arguing that variation is as characteristic of globalization as standardization, the book stresses the necessity for a bottom-up, comparative analysis. Distinguishing between the cultural, political, economic and ecological aspects of globalization, the book highlights the implications of globalization for people's everyday lives. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with wide-ranging case material. Chapter summaries and a guide to further reading underline the book's concern to clarify this most complex and influential of ideas.