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Aleppo : A History - (Cities of the Ancient World) by Ross Burns (Paperback)
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Shortlisted for the 2018 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize
Aleppo is one of the longest-surviving cities of the ancient and Islamic Middle East. Until recently it enjoyed a thriving urban life—in particular an active traditional suq, with a continuous tradition going back centuries. Its tangle of streets still follow the Hellenistic grid and above it looms the great Citadel, which contains recently-uncovered remains of a Bronze/Iron Age temple complex, suggesting an even earlier role as a ‘high place’ in the Canaanite tradition.
In the Arab Middle Ages, Aleppo was a strongpoint of the Islamic resistance to the Crusader presence. Its medieval Citadel is one of the most dramatic examples of a fortified enclosure in the Islamic tradition. In Mamluk and Ottoman times, the city took on a thriving commercial role and provided a base for the first European commercial factories and consulates in the Levant. Its commercial life funded a remarkable building tradition with some hundreds of the 600 or so officially-declared monuments dating from these eras. Its diverse ethnic mixture, with significant Kurdish, Turkish, Christian and Armenian communities, provide a richer layering of influences on the city’s life.
In this volume, Ross Burns explores Aleppo's rich history from its earliest history through to the modern era, providing a thorough treatment of this fascinating city history, accessible both to scholarly readers and to the general public interested in a factual and comprehensive survey of the city’s past.