By Ross Burns
Routledge – 2004 – 386 pages
Series: Cities of the Ancient World
This is the first book in English to relate the history of Damascus, bringing out the crucial role the city has played at many points in the region's past. Damascus traces the history of this colourful, significant and complex city through its physical development, from the city's emergence in around 7000 BC through the changing cavalcade of Aramaean, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Mongol and French rulers right up to the end of Turkish control in 1918.
In Damascus, every layer of the history has built precisely on top of its predecessors for at least three millennia, leaving a detailed archaeological record of one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The book looks particularly at the interplay between the western and eastern influences that have provided Damascus with such a rich past, and how this perfectly encapsulates the forces that have played over the Middle East as a whole from the earliest recorded times to the present.
Lavishly illustrated, Damascus: A History is a compelling and unique exploration of a fascinating city.
Introduction 1. The Emergence of Damascus: 9000-1100 BC 2. Dimashqu - Damascus from the Aramaeans to the Persians: 1000-532 BC 3. A Greater Game - Assyrians, Persians, Greeks: 732-300 BC 4. The Sowing of Hellenism - Ptolemies and Seleucids: 300-64 BC 5. Pax Romana: 64 BC-AD 30 6. Metropolis Romana: AD 30-268 7. Holding the Line: AD 269-610 8. 'Farewell, Oh Syria': 611-750 9. The Umayyads: 661-750 10. Decline, Confusion and Irrelevance: 750-1008 11. Islam Resurgent: 1098-1174 12. Saladin and the Ayyubids: 1174-1250 13. Mamluks: 1260-1515 14. The Ottoman Centuries: 1516-1840 15. Reform and Reaction: 1840-1918 Epilogue Appendices Glossary of Terms and Names Maps of City and Environs Bibliography Index
Ross Burns has recently retired from the Australian Foreign Service after assignments which included several countries of the eastern Mediterranean, including Syria. Currently pursuing his archaeological and historical interests fulltime, he is the author of Monuments of Syria, the first modern study of that country's rich archaeological heritage.