From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East

From the Holy Mountain A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East In a d two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt On the way John M

  • Title: From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East
  • Author: William Dalrymple
  • ISBN: 9780805061772
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • In 587 a.d two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries, and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the stylites and the desert fathers before their fIn 587 a.d two monks set off on an extraordinary journey that would take them in an arc across the entire Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt On the way John Moschos and his pupil Sophronius the Sophist stayed in caves, monasteries, and remote hermitages, collecting the wisdom of the stylites and the desert fathers before their fragile world finally shattered under the great eruption of Islam More than a thousand years later, using Moschos s writings as his guide, William Dalrymple sets off to retrace their footsteps and composes an evensong for a dying civilization Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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    1. In 587 AD, John Moschos and his acolyte Sophronius started on a journey that would take them all across the Byzantine world, exploring the vast lands of Eastern Christianity. Almost 1500 years later, Scottish writer William Dalrymple follows in their footsteps, through a landscape that has been ravaged by time, fate and a succession of different civilisations.There is something strangely compelling about travel books. Reading about someone else’s journeys can give you the opportunity to join i [...]

    2. As in the previous book I reviewed, a traveler decides to go on pilgrimage. Inspired by the writings of the monk John Moschus (ca. 550-619), William Dalrymple, a Scottish journalist and travel-writer, sets off to retrace the route this pilgrim and his friend Sophronios of Jerusalem had traveled so many centuries before.Dalrymple's book is an attempt to rediscover the traces of ancient Christian history in the Middle East, some of them surviving in unexpected ways, some of them tragically disappe [...]

    3. Update: For those who enjoyed this book or are interested in the Byzantines, don't miss this CBS News-60 Minutes documentary on the monasteries of Mt. Athos, online at cbsnews/news/mt-athos-Most Westerners know little about the varied ancient communities that date back to the great Christian Empire of Byzantium. As I write this review, nearly twenty years after this book was first published, Eastern Christian communities as old as the religion itself are under siege yet again and that lent the s [...]

    4. Travel is a good thing to do. It broadens your horizons, lets you see all manner of crazy things and frequently allows you to get a tan and wear outlandish clothing which you would under no circumstances wear at home in the midst of your own community ever. The wearing of odd garb and putting together your own eclectic holiday wardrobe is a bit like wearing a disguise. You can meet new people and because of your clothes you can be all "hell yeah, look how alternative/cool/zany/ in-touch-with-the [...]

    5. This was a book which came to me from two totally disconnected directions; a recommendation from Shovelmonkey but then almost on the back of her gentle nudge I was given a sharp kick in the pants by the bookshelf elf who is evidently steering my reading habits when this was also given to me quite independently as a good book to read in preparation for my, then, upcoming visit to the Holy Land by a priest friend of mine.In the event, though I began it before heading Middle-east-side, I did not co [...]

    6. Hana has done some fab research into things. Her review here'Mor Gabriel is an ancient Syrian Orthodox monastery in Southeastern Turkey, founded in 397 AD on the ruins of a Zoroastrian temple. When Dalrymple visited in 1994 the monastery was already under siege. In 2008 Erdogan's government attempted to seize the monastery and its farmland on the pretext that the monks were "occupiers" who had built the monastery on top of a mosque--an especially strange claim since the monastery predates both t [...]

    7. The most engrossing and moving travel essay I've ever read. Once you read this, you'll want to read everything else Dalrymple has written.

    8. 7 MAR 2015 - This book comes very highly recommended by Dear Bettie. A five-star review from hergoodself. I received a coupon from Barnes & Noble via email. I used the coupon to order this book. I have waited a very long time to read this book (since 2013). Now, I have only to wait 3 days and victory will be mine! I am very excited! Thank you Barnes & Noble. 10 MAR 2015 - my copy is scheduled to be delivered today. HUZZAH! I am very excited. 21 MAR 2015 -- Exquisite! I loved reading this [...]

    9. Very promising beginning which soon detoured into ruminations on geopolitics and along the way found it self stretched in the muddy fields of scripture and doctrine. The geopolitics appears dated, of course, which is no one's fault. The scripture and doctrine appear methodical, which I regard as alarming. If it wasn't for the encounter with Robert Fisk I would've aborted the book while it was in Lebanon. It is a revealing view into the incestuous proximity between Islam and Christianity, even if [...]

    10. This is one of the best travelogues that I have read. Following in the footsteps of a late Byzantine Monk Dalrymple gives a fascinating and all too often heartbreaking view of the Middle East from an entirely new perspective -that of the Greek Orthodox Christians who represent the shattered and scattered remnants of the third major monotheistic religion to come out of the Middle East. Ironies abound. The author uses as his basic "tour guide" the mixture of travel account and collected "miracle t [...]

    11. This is an excellent book worth the time needed to take it steadily. It is a fascinating account of the survival of Christianity in the Middle East now made more timeous by events there is Syria and Iraq particularly. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the book gives a real perspective to what is becoming a real tragedy.

    12. I think this book is very informative for Westerns who thinks everyone from Middle East is Usama bin Laden however it is very biased on Christianity. It is true that Christians in Middle East do suffer a lot (perhaps as a result of what Christians in the West are doing). However, I didn't enjoy taking this book with me during my tour around the Middle East because in a travel book I don't think every paragraph shouldn't be about how much do the Christians suffer. It should include the culture, e [...]

    13. A brief mention of the classic "Spiritual Meadows", itself a collection of saying from 7th Century Monks in the Middle East, in Sir Steven Runciman's "History of the Crusades" leads William Dalrymple to replicatethe journey, taken long ago, in the late 20th century. This is the story of that journey and of the story of the decline of the native Christian population of the Holy Lands.The only other book on this topic that comes close to being this well written is "The Body and the Blood" by Charl [...]

    14. I want to review this in more detail later, but for now suffice it to say that this was magnificent. Learned, witty, endlessly interesting - if this is travel non fiction, sign me up for lots more.Particularly recommended to those who want to learn about indigenous Christianity in the Levant - and not just in the current day.

    15. A wonderful book that tackles an important issue - the decline of Christianity in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also the marvel of syncretism.His portrait of Robert Fisk is one of the gentlest and yet meanest filletings I've read in a long time, particularly as our Bob is such a brilliant writer whose moral outrage is so essential a counterbalance to our desire to look the other way.

    16. Seeking the OasisHaving previously read Dalrymple's In Xanadu, a book he had written in his early 20s, I had two motivations in reading this book: first of all, I was intrigued to see how his writing had developed over the intervening decade; secondly, I wanted to see if he his idea of following in the footsteps of ancient travelers would work as well with less well known journey than Marco Polo's?On the first question I can report that his style had broadened and deepened since his earlier book [...]

    17. nhwvejournal/913672ml[return][return]It is a tremendous book. Dalrymple travels through Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, the West Bank and Egypt, following the seventhy-century travels of John Moschos, looking for the remaining evidence of Christianity in archtitecture, culture and population. It is a terrifically sad book. Many of the communities he visits were dwindling at the time of writing, in 1994; several of them wonder if they will even still be there in ten years' time. He is fan [...]

    18. I read this while travelling in Bali, after months of being in Asia and wandering about the power of religion and faith to move people. This book is a remarkable combination of a travelogue, historical examination of religion and manual on classical art and architecture. It combines the author's interest in following a monk who detailed his travels through the Middle East with a fascination with modern travel and religion and particularly the situation of modern Christians in the Middle East. I [...]

    19. William Damryple tours the Middle East, seeking Christians in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Israel, and Egypt. He follows the footsteps of John Moschos, a monk who'd done the same thing 1,500 years earlier, at the beginning of what is the unraveling of the Christian presence in the regions, as Damryple says, much like his tour represents the beginning of the end. It took me much longer to read this book than I thought it would, partly because I needed to slow down to appreciate the exactness of beauty [...]

    20. In 587 A.D, two monks from Greece set up a journey that takes them across the Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. John Moshos, and his pupil Sophronius stayed in caves, monasteries and remote hermitages, collecting ancient wisdom of their forefathers before the eruption of Islam. Infact, Karen Armstrong, author of best seller, "History of God" calls it as ' pitting the idealism of the past against hatred, dispossession, and denial of the present'.The aut [...]

    21. William Dalrymple sets out with his backpack, pen and paper and a copy of the book 'The Spiritual Meadow' to travel to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt over six months in 1994, to take a look at the Christian communities that live there and to see what has become of them and their heritage. The inspiration for the journey comes from the book he was carrying, which was written by John Moschos, a sixth century Byzantine monk, who did a somewhat similar journey and recorded his impressions [...]

    22. An interesting look at an aspect of Middle Eastern history that is not discussed much - the history and state of Christianity in the Middle East. The book is loosely structured as a travelogue built around an account of a journey by two monks it the 6th century. Dalrymple sets out to follow their root and compare the churches, monasteries and Christian communities John Moschos and his companion visited 1400 years ago.Dalrymple's travels and comments bring up a number of interesting points or thr [...]

    23. This book may quite possibly be my favorite read on early Christian communities that I've read thus far. Dalrymple's account chronicles his encounters with Christian communities starting from his passage through Greece's Mt. Athos, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Territories and Egypt. His goal? To walk in the footsteps of Orthodox monk John Moschos, albeit 1400 years later. As Moschos witnessed the increasing threats to the Byzantine Empire (Persian, then Arab Islamic invasions, [...]

    24. William Darymple is a brilliant and sincere author, who puts in a lot of effort to research before he writes a book and that is very evident in From the Holy Mountain. The book itself is a treasure with great insight into Middle East and Arab. Darymple makes his journey through what was known as the Byzantine empire. Some may think this book to be prejudiced towards religion but this serves as an excellent history and travel book as well. The amount of knowledge that I have gained about the hist [...]

    25. "Oo. Byzantine and early Christian history, I don't know anything about that."Such was my response when I saw my Dad reading this book. And such were the responses of most other people when they saw me reading it. It turns out that it is a fascinating period right at the jamb between east and west, antiquity and medieval. Dalrymple takes a 6th century travelogue as his guide to lead him on his own journey through modern Turkey, Syria, and North Africa, following in the footsteps of two monks wri [...]

    26. Magnífico libro de viajes, alrededor de Turquía, Siria, Líbano, palestina y Egipto. El autor, un inglés del 65, cristiano católico, comienza su viaje en el Monte Athos. Primero consigue el permiso para pernoctar allí y poder revisar los manuscritos de un monje del siglo VI, Juan Mosco. Su escrito "El Prado espiritual" le servirá como guía de los viajes que realizó el referido monje por todo Oriente Próximo. El autor lo emula en el siglo XXI, y nos describe la situación de estos territ [...]

    27. I knew as this book progressed that I must never be tempted to rush it or scrimp on the detail and I instinctively I knew also that once finished I would need to read it again. What I hadn't allowed for when I started the volume in the New Year was how we would all be drawn into the events in Syria during this violent winter. This is not just a book about Byzantine Christians throughout the Middle East, nor is it just a history and a travelogue. Although it was published fifteen years ago in man [...]

    28. Good descriptions, excellent narration, terrible explanation of facts. Partial, antijewish, antiwestern, clearly pro muslim, his explanation of the Lebanon War is a prodigy of inaccuracy and bigotry. Full of clichés, such as "islamist extremism is in a good deal the result of Western humiliation of Islam" or "Islam was tolerant with jews and christians". Well, that doesn't seem to explain where did the MILLIONS of christians and jews that inhabited the Middle East go, does it? Was Islam so wond [...]

    29. Dalrymple heads off in the footsteps of the 6th century monk, John Moscos, from Mount Athos down through Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel-Palestine and finishes in Egypt. Along the way he gives a superb insight on Christianity in the Middle East with all its rich history and present day persecution and insecurities. It’s also surprisingly exciting at times as he encounters various policemen, soldiers etc who aren’t always happy with what he’s doing. Erudite, and by turns amusing and disturbi [...]

    30. This book takes the route of a monk who lived in the 500s AD and compares how things have changed or remained the same in some parts of the Middle East. I have liked almost all books of Dalrymple, and this was no exception. I also enjoyed some of the stories about old-time Christian monks, and descriptions of a very different Middle East than the one we hear of in the news all the time, but no less chaotic.

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