In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World (Paperback)
  • In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World (Paperback)
zoom

In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World (Paperback)

(author)
2 Reviews Sign in to write a review
£12.99
Paperback 592 Pages / Published: 04/04/2013
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect

In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world.


But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate.


In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780349122359
Number of pages: 592
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 195 x 128 x 39 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A compelling detective story of the highest order, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a dazzlingly colourful journey into the world of late antiquity. Every bit as thrilling a narrative history as Holland's previous works, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a profoundly important book. It makes public and popular what scholarship has been discovering for several decades now; and those discoveries suggest a wholesale revision of where Islam came from and what it is' -- Christopher Hart * Sunday Times *
A brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and [with] thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomanaical empresses and visionary prophets . . . Unputdownable -- Simon Sebag Montefiore * The Times *
Tom Holland is a writer of clarity and expertise, who talks us through this unfamiliar and crowded territory with energy and some dry wit . . . The emergence of Islam is a notoriously risky subject, so a confident historian who is able to explain where this great religion came from without illusion or dissimulation has us greatly in his debt' -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
This is a book of extraordinary richness. I found myself amused, diverted and enchanted by turn. For Tom Holland has an enviable gift for summoning up the colour, the individuals and animation of the past, without sacrificing factual integrity . . . He is also a divertingly inventive writer with a wicked wit - there's something of both Gibbon and Tom Wolfe in his writing. In the Shadow of the Sword remains a spell-bindingly brilliant multiple portrait of the triumph of monotheism in the ancient world -- Barnaby Rogerson * Independent *
A stunning blockbuster -- Robert Fisk * Independent *
A compelling detective story of the highest order, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a dazzlingly colourful journey into the world of late antiquity. Every bit as thrilling a narrative history as Holland's previous works, [it] is also a profoundly important book -- Christopher Hart * Sunday Times *
Written with flamboyant elegance and energetic intensity, Holland delivers a brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomaniacal empresses and visionary prophets . . . Unputdownable -- Simon Sebag Montefiore * The Times *

You may also be interested in...

The Histories
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Ancient Greece from Homer to Alexander
Added to basket
The Oxford History of Britain
Added to basket
Rubicon
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Spartans
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Boudica
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Classical World
Added to basket
Augustus
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Pompeii
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Babylon
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
The Twelve Caesars
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Alexander the Great
Added to basket
A History of Ancient Egypt
Added to basket
The Christians and the Fall of Rome
Added to basket
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
Added to basket

Reviews

View all

“A book for people who like wearing tin foil hats.”

Tom Holland has released a book with such historical inaccuracy that each of his arguments have the ability to be refuted, and have been refuted, by people knowledgeable of the tradition within 10 seconds (if one... More

Paperback edition
1 similar book recommended
20th February 2016
Helpful? Upvote 41

“Another good read from Tom Holland.”

Written in Holland's usual racy style, he brings the development of the three main monotheistic religions of the Middle East to life in a way that only he can. Pretty bravely, he questions the validity of each... More

Paperback edition
28th September 2013
Helpful? Upvote 14

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.