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The Throne of Adulis


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Table of Contents

Preface Abbreviations List of Maps and Illustrations Maps I. The Throne II. A Christian Traveller in the Red Sea III. Ptolemy's Elephants IV. The Kingdom of Axum V. Christianity Comes to Axum VI. Judaism Comes to Himyar VII. The Ethiopian Invasion of 525 VIII. Entry of the Great Powers IX. Reckoning Appendix: Nonnosus Bibliography Index

About the Author

G. W. Bowersock is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. Among his many previous books are From Gibbon to Auden: Essays on the Classical Tradition, Mosaics as History: The Near East from Late Antiquity to Islam, and Roman Arabia.


"[O]n the whole this book offers an intriguing and useful introduction to the history of a relatively obscure but certainly important region of the ancient world." --Journal of Early Christian Studies "The Throne of Adulis shows Bowersock at full bent... Bowersock has brought a novel freshness to this grand narrative. He fastens with delight on new pieces of evidence, from each of which he derives conclusions that significantly alter our view of the whole story...Bowersock has taken us back to a moment of time when the future of the Middle East still hung in the balance...the pre-Islamic Middle East, Arabia, and the Red Sea have been thrown open for us by Glen Bowersock." --Peter Brown, New York Review of Books "[A] splendid new book." --Peter Thonemann, Times Literary Supplement "G W Bowersock amply achieves his aims in a most elegant fashion.... My summaries cannot convey the intense delight of reading The Throne of Adulis, which so lightly steps from language to language to delineate and richly explain its fragments of evidence, the implications of which accumulate into explanations of poorly known yet momentous events. G W Bowersock's latest is no more than an extended essay yet it outranks many multi-volume treatises." --Edward N Luttwak, Literary Review "This highly erudite study makes a noteworthy and heavyweight contribution to a complex subject. It does so in an unfussy and discreet manner that belies the impact it will have for scholars working in this field." --Peter Frankopan, History Today "Bowersock brilliantly weaves together a sixth-century description of a now lost marble throne from modern Eritrea with new scholarship on Ethiopia and South Arabia in Late Antiquity, with fascinating results for the perennial problem of Islamic origins." --Averil Cameron, author of The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity "Bowersock probes the complexities of pre-Islamic Arabia and finds flourishing Jewish and Christian communities at each other's throat, and pagans of monotheist bent. An ingenious, cutting-edge book, with answers for those wondering who needed the Qur'an's Third Way." --Garth Fowden, author of The Egyptian Hermes "Closely argued on scarce evidence, [The Throne of Adulis] draws attention to the enduring geopolitical significance of this poorly understood region. Recommended." --CHOICE

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