The succession of great cities that appeared in Justin Marozzi's superbly crafted book were all too often put together, designed, torn down, and rebuilt on the orders of one man. In most cases, fragments of their glorious days (the Great Mosque of Cordoba or Damascus) have been preserved as architectural memories. Or sometimes, in an astonishing miracle, entire medieval quarters with intact streets in cities like Cairo and Fes are preserved. But such sights are only memories. The Marozzi dynasties, founded in each of the 15 cities, report on 15 chapters that are rarely effective beyond three generations. The golden age darkens after a hundred years.
In this book, we encounter some of the most fascinating and disturbing personalities in Muslim history. Muawiya (founder of the Umayya...
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