Middle East

Get Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood--A History in Thirteen PDF

By Justin Marozzi

ISBN-10: 0306823985

ISBN-13: 9780306823985

For a lot of its awesome existence, Baghdad, recognized for hundreds of years because the "City of Peace," loved either cultural and advertisement preeminence. for 5 centuries it was once the seat of the Abbasid Empire, a wonder of glittering palaces, beautiful parks, extraordinary mosques, and Islamic faculties. It was once a urban boasting the main complete astronomers, mathematicians, medical professionals, musicians, and poets—it was once right here, in the course of the caliphs, that the good Arabic vintage One Thousand and One Nights was once set. With its teeming markets watered via the Tigris, Baghdad used to be a thriving buying and selling emporium, attracting retailers from critical Asia to the Atlantic; its economic system was once the envy of West and East alike.

Yet Baghdad's population have additionally obvious many negative hardships, from epidemics and famines to invasions and devastating floods. And it has additionally been probably the most violent towns in the world. whilst U.S. troops entered in 2003, they grew to become the most recent contributors in a turbulent historical past stretching again to the city's founding in 762. Over such a lot of its thirteen-century background, Baghdad has persisted the guideline of brutal strongmen, from capricious caliphs to Saddam Hussein; and it has suffered violent occupations by the hands of its conquerors, from the Mongol Hulagu, grandson of Genghis Khan, to Tamerlane, referred to as the "Sword Arm of Israel."

Here, during this vibrant new history—the first released in English in approximately a century—Justin Marozzi brings to lifestyles the full splendorous and tumultuous tale of what was the best capital on the earth.

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Extra resources for Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood--A History in Thirteen Centuries

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77), outlining the regulations to which the Christians of Syria should adhere, is attributed. Interestingly enough, the many and varied medieval versions of this pact suggest 22 The Great Caliphs that Umayyad and early ‘Abbasid practice may well have been based on the Theodosian and Justinian codes on the one hand and Sasanian regulations on the other. Even this quintessentially Islamic institution was thus rooted in previous Middle Eastern ways of handling minorities. Both religious and financial considerations therefore encouraged the Arabs to conceptualize the Umayyad empire as one in which Arab Muslims ruled and taxed nonArab practitioners of other faiths.

After a series of false starts, al-Mansur initiated A Stormy Sea 27 the construction of a new royal capital called rather optimistically the ‘City of Peace’ near the old Sasanian imperial agglomeration of Ctesiphon and a village called Baghdad, which ultimately became the name of the city itself. The new imperial establishment was economically supported by the Sawad, the rich alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, which were tilled by local inhabitants and black slaves, many of whom had the unenviable task of scraping the salt from the flood plains of the lower Euphrates to prepare it for the cultivation of sugar cane.

Although there is some debate over the composition of the armies in Khurasan, and whether the Khurasani supporters of the ‘Abbasid revolution were predominantly Arabs or Persian clients, the fact remains that by the late 740s they were marching west through Iran to Iraq with the black A Stormy Sea 25 banners of the ‘Abbasids aloft to seize power from the Umayyads in the name of the family of the Prophet and the integrity of Islam. In 748 they captured Kufa, a garrison town with historically strong ‘Alid sympathies, but the Umayyads retaliated by arresting and killing the head of the ‘Abbasid clan, Ibrahim b.

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Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood--A History in Thirteen Centuries by Justin Marozzi


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