SICILY AN ISLAND AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY

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Sicily

Author : John Julius Norwich
ISBN : 9780812995190
Genre : History
File Size : 90.59 MB
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Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history. “Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties. Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way. This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again. Praise for Sicily “Suavely readable . . . The very model of a popular historian, [Norwich] writes to give pleasure to the common reader. And what pleasure it is.”—The Wall Street Journal “Entertaining on every page . . . There is something ancient and sorrowful in Sicily, ‘some dark, brooding quality,’ just as captivating as its spellbinding history or its beautiful and varied landscapes, from beaches to lemon groves, pine forests to volcanoes. . . . The most amiable and freewheeling of guides, Norwich will always find time for the amusing anecdote.”—The Sunday Times “Utterly engrossing . . . written with passion about the art and architecture of this magical island, filled with gossipy tidbits and sweeping historical theories.”—The Daily Beast “Dazzling . . . Norwich is an elegantly graceful and entertaining storyteller.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Charming . . . richly nuanced history relayed with enormous fondness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A brisk and always-lively tour.”—Open Letters Monthly “Norwich is deeply in love with Sicily. [His] boundless affection has inspired a determined effort to understand its painful past. The result is impressionistic, as love often is.”—The Times “Norwich sketches personalities vividly. . . . He does the island and the reader a generous service in providing such an amiable introduction.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Norwich tells [Sicily’s] long, sad but fascinating story with sympathy and brio.”—Literary Review From the Hardcover edition.
Category: History

Sicily

Author : Sandra Benjamin
ISBN : 9781586421816
Genre : History
File Size : 37.8 MB
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Tourists, armchair travelers, and historians will all delight in this fluid narrative that can be read straight through, dipped into over time, or used as a reference guide to each period in Sicily’s fascinating tale. Emigration of people from Sicily often overshadows the importance of the people who immigrated to the island through the centuries. These have included several who became Sicily’s rulers, along with Jews, Ligurians, and Albanians. Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Spaniards, Bourbons, the Savoy Kingdom of Italy and the modern era have all held sway, and left lasting influences on the island’s culture and architecture. Sicily’s character has also been determined by what passed it by: events that affected Europe generally, namely the Crusades and Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, remarkably had little influence on Italy’s most famous island. Maps, biographical notes, suggestions for further reading, a glossary, pronunciation keys, and much more make this unique book as essential as it is enjoyable. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: History

Sicily

Author : Giovanni Francesio
ISBN : 8877433825
Genre : Art
File Size : 38.46 MB
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Few places in the world have experienced such an intense and eventful history as Sicily. Rocked by revolts and power-struggles, rejoicing in great splendour and freedoms, over thousands of years this small island has been a crossroads for many peoples, r
Category: Art

Seeking Sicily

Author : John Keahey
ISBN : 9781429990677
Genre : Travel
File Size : 64.49 MB
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"Keahey's exploration of this misunderstood island offers a much-needed look at a much-maligned land."—Paul Paolicelli, author of Under the Southern Sun Sicily is the Mediterranean's largest and most mysterious island. Its people, for three thousand years under the thumb of one invader after another, hold tightly onto a culture so unique that they remain emotionally and culturally distinct, viewing themselves first as Sicilians, not Italians. Many of these islanders, carrying considerable DNA from Arab and Muslim ancestors who ruled for 250 years and integrated vast numbers of settlers from the continent just ninety miles to the south, say proudly that Sicily is located north of Africa, not south of Italy. Seeking Sicily explores what lies behind the soul of the island's inhabitants. It touches on history, archaeology, food, the Mafia, and politics and looks to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Sicilian authors to plumb the islanders' so-called Sicilitudine. This "culture apart" is best exemplified by the writings of one of Sicily's greatest writers, Leonardo Sciascia. Seeking Sicily also looks to contemporary Sicilians who have never shaken off the influences of their forbearers, who believed in the ancient gods and goddesses. Author John Keahey is not content to let images from the island's overly touristed villages carry the story. Starting in Palermo, he journeyed to such places as Arab-founded Scopello on the west coast, the Greek ruins of Selinunte on the southwest, and Sciascia's ancestral village of Racalmuto in the south, where he experienced unique, local festivals. He spent Easter Week in Enna at the island's center, witnessing surreal processions that date back to Spanish rule. And he learned about Sicilian cuisine in Spanish Baroque Noto and Greek Siracusa in the southeast, and met elderly, retired fishermen in the tiny east-coast fishing village of Aci Trezza, home of the mythical Cyclops and immortalized by Luchino Visconti's mid-1940s film masterpiece, La terra trema. He walked near the summit of Etna, Europe's largest and most active volcano, studied the mountain's role in creating this island, and looked out over the expanse of the Ionian Sea, marveling at the three millennia of myths and history that forged Sicily into what it is today.
Category: Travel

Sicily A Cultural History

Author : Joseph Farrell
ISBN : 9781623710507
Genre : History
File Size : 69.60 MB
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Long before it became an Italian offshore island, Sicily was the land in the center of the Mediterranean where the great civilizations of Europe and Northern Africa met. In ancient times it was the scene of conflicts between Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans and there are still more, better preserved Greek temples in Sicily than in the whole of mainland Greece. An Arab invasion in 827 made Sicily home to an Islamic culture, and through Sicily the Arabs introduced to Europe a range of products from sugar to pasta. Other conquering forces included the Catalan-Aragonese, the Spanish, the French, the Austrians and even the British who invented Marsala wine. Sicily today is familiar and unfamiliar, modernized and unchanging. Visitors will find in an out-of-the-way town an Aragonese castle, will stumble across a Norman church by the side of a lesser travelled road, will see red Muslim-styles domes over a Christian shrine, will find a Baroque church of breathtaking beauty in a village, will catch a glimpse from the motorway of a solitary Greek temple on the horizon and will happen on a the celebrations of the patron saint of a run-down district of a city, and will stop and wonder. There is more to Sicily than the Godfather and the mafia. • Land of Myth and Religious Feast: The myth of Persephone at the lake of Pergusa: the Holy Week processions in Enna and Erice; the festivities for St. Rosalia in Palermo, St. Agatha in Catania, St. James in Caltagirone. • History in Stone: The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento; Norman cathedrals in Palermo, Monreale and Cefalú; Saracen and Aragonese castles; Arab-Norman-Byzantine mosaics in the Palace of the Normans in Palermo, • Islands and Cities: The Aeolian Islands with their volcanoes at Stromboli and Vulcano; the hauntingly beautiful cities of Taormina and Cefalú; Mount Etna; the eighteenth-century Baroque towns of Ragusa and Noto.
Category: History

The Great Cities In History

Author : John Julius Norwich
ISBN : 9780500773598
Genre : History
File Size : 71.59 MB
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A portrait of world civilization told through the stories of the world's greatest cities from ancient times to the present. Today, for the first time in history, the majority of people in the world live in cities. The implications and challenges associated with this fact are enormous. But how did we get here? From the origins of urbanization in Mesopotamia to the global metropolises of today, great cities have marked the development of human civilization. The Great Cities in History tells their stories, starting with the earliest, from Uruk and Memphis to Jerusalem and Alexandria. Next come the fabulous cities of the first millennium: Damascus and Baghdad, Teotihuacan and Tikal, and Chang’an, capital of Tang Dynasty China. The medieval world saw the rise of powerful cities such as Palermo and Paris in Europe, Benin in Africa, and Angkor in southeast Asia. The last two sections bring us from the early modern world, with Isfahan, Agra, and Amsterdam, to the contemporary city: London and New York, Tokyo and Barcelona, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. The distinguished contributors, including Jan Morris, Michael D. Coe, Simon Schama, Orlando Figes, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Misha Glenny, Susan Toby Evans, and A. N. Wilson, evoke the character of each place—people, art and architecture, government—and explain the reasons for its success.
Category: History

Midnight In Sicily

Author : Peter Robb
ISBN : 9781466861299
Genre : Travel
File Size : 59.83 MB
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year From the author of M and A Death in Brazil comes Midnight in Sicily. South of mainland Italy lies the island of Sicily, home to an ancient culture that--with its stark landscapes, glorious coastlines, and extraordinary treasure troves of art and archeology--has seduced travelers for centuries. But at the heart of the island's rare beauty is a network of violence and corruption that reaches into every corner of Sicilian life: Cosa Nostra, the Mafia. Peter Robb lived in southern Italy for over fourteen years and recounts its sensuous pleasures, its literature, politics, art, and crimes.
Category: Travel

Trying To Please

Author : John Julius Norwich
ISBN : 1604190310
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 43.30 MB
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The British government official, author, editor, and television and radio personality describes his life and career.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Kingdom Of Sicily 1100 1250

Author : Karla Mallette
ISBN : 9780812204797
Genre : History
File Size : 87.92 MB
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When Muslim invaders conquered Sicily in the ninth century, they took control of a weakened Greek state in cultural decadence. When, two centuries later, the Normans seized control of the island, they found a Muslim state just entering its cultural prime. Rather than replace the practices and idioms of the vanquished people with their own, the Normans in Sicily adopted and adapted the Greco-Arabic culture that had developed on the island. Yet less than a hundred years later, the cultural and linguistic mix had been reduced, a Romance tradition had come to dominate, and Sicilian poets composed the first body of love lyrics in an Italianate vernacular. Karla Mallette has written the first literary history of the Kingdom of Sicily in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Where other scholars have separated out the island's literature along linguistic grounds, Mallette surveys the literary production in Arabic, Latin, Greek, and Romance dialects, in addition to the architectural remains, numismatic inscriptions, and diplomatic records, to argue for a multilingual, multicultural, and coherent literary tradition. Drawing on postcolonial theory to consider institutional and intellectual power, the exchange of knowledge across cultural boundaries, and the containment and celebration of the other that accompanies cultural transition, the book includes an extensive selection of poems and documents translated from the Arabic, Latin, Old French, and Italian. The Kingdom of Sicily, 1100-1250 opens up new venues for understanding the complexity of a place and culture at the crossroads of East and West, Islam and Christianity, tradition and innovation.
Category: History

The Middle Sea

Author : John Julius Norwich
ISBN : 9780307387721
Genre : History
File Size : 76.65 MB
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This lively and dramatic book brings roaring to life the grand sweep of 5,000 years of history in the cradle of civilization. A wonderfully illustrated account of the civilizations that rose and fell on the lands bordering the Mediterranean, The Middle Sea represents the culmination of a great historian’s unparalleled art and scholarship. John Julius Norwich provides brilliant portraits of the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the French, the Venetians, the Popes, and the pirates of the Gulf. Above all, he deftly traces the intermingling of ancient conflicts and modern sensibilities that shapes life today on the shores of the Middle Sea.
Category: History