Cover: City of the Great King: Jerusalem from David to the Present, from Harvard University PressCover: City of the Great King in E-DITION

City of the Great King

Jerusalem from David to the Present

Edited by Nitza Rosovsky

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674367098

Publication Date: 03/01/1996

562 pages

4 maps, 11 color illustrations, 39 halftones, 32 line illustrations


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

[This is] a collection of 18 studies edited by Nitza Rosovsky, herself a Jerusalemite, who also provides the introduction and two of the liveliest contributions… It is Miss Rosovsky’s essay ‘Nineteenth Century Portraits through Western Eyes’ that supplied the anecdote about Edward Lear, along with a host of other, often disillusioned, reactions from travelers in the last century—Mark Twain, Disraeli, Thackeray, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Melville and many lesser lights… The other studies in City of the Great King explore Jerusalem through a variety of different religious and aesthetic prisms—through Jewish, Christian and Muslim spirituality, through Jewish folk songs, through literature, art, architecture and cartography and even through the politics of Zionists and Palestinians.—Serge Schmemann, The New York Times Book Review

A wonderfully varied collection of monographs by Jewish, Christian and Islamic scholars, each of whom brings us up to date in different ways. Editor Rosovsky…presents the generally splendid contributions in three sections: The Heavenly City; The Earthly City; and the City in Literature, Art and Architecture… The book opens with an essay on the inhabitants of Jerusalem by archeologist Magen Broshi, who offers us the clearest and most informative history of the city we could wish to have. Prof. F. E. Peters, in his fascinating description of the rise of the Holy Places, gives matters a different slant… This is easily the best of the more didactic books on Jerusalem published to mark its 3,000th anniversary. Every Jerusalemite should have it, as should anyone interested in the city. What a kaleidoscope!—Meir Ronnen, The Jerusalem Post

City of the Great King is a collection of 18 essays by contributors from America, Germany, Israel, and the Arab world, edited by a former curator at the Semitic Museum in Harvard. Only two of the pieces, nicely balanced, are directly concerned with politics; the remainder deal with subjects ranging from traditions of pilgrimage (Christian, Muslim, and Jewish) to the image of Jerusalem in maps and mapping. Between them they give you a renewed sense of the extraordinary richness of the city’s history. They also contain some remarkable observations.—John Gross, The Sunday Telegraph

With informative, well-conceived essays on topics ranging from Jerusalem in Christian thought, to the city in Jewish folk art, to the Islamic architecture of the Haram al-Sharif, City of the Great King demands—and in large part deserves—the reader’s serious attention. In tone and content, the essays—many of which have been contributed by renowned scholars—are directed to that rarest of breeds, the curious general reader. The authors and editor have succeeded admirably in avoiding the twin pitfalls of hyper-specialization and patronization… Beyond the individual essays, the overall structure of the book is itself felicitous. Rosovsky has assembled a volume in which the individual pieces are mutually complementary… Rosovsky has succeeded in producing a book that is replete with fresh and balanced insights into this much-loved and much-revered city.—Samuel J. Rascoff, Journal of Jewish Studies

City of the Great King is an excellent primer. In this handsomely illustrated volume, Jerusalem is conjured up in ancient Hebrew texts, in medieval Islamic literature, in 19th-century Western accounts and in the testimony of Jewish and Christian pilgrims. A perfect way to mark Jerusalem’s 3,000th anniversary as a capital.—Sheldon Kirshner, Canadian Jewish News

Nitza Rosovsky, the editor, is a learned curator, a Jerusalem pundit, Jerusalem-born. An Older Hand could not be found, but she is no bore… If I were about to visit Jerusalem, this is the book I would choose. It is handsomely produced… There are about 20 contributors, each clearly expert on a particular subject. Only two chapters are about the weary political struggle; the rest are about what makes up the wonder and magic of the extraordinary city. The editor herself writes a fascinating chapter on 19th-century visitors.—Stephen Tumim, The Daily Telegraph

A mixed bag, in a positive sense, is City of the Great King…the strength of this volume is that its Jerusalem-born editor, a writer and former curator at Harvard’s Semitic Museum, has gone to all the finest scholars she could find for essays on the place of Jerusalem in religious thought and behavior, and in literature and art.—David B. Green, Jerusalem Report

In Jerusalem, politics and religion are intertwined, and the anthology’s juxtaposed articles on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim views of the ‘Heavenly City’ powerfully underline the different realities that each faith brings to these storied hills… A fitting trimillennial offering.Kirkus Reviews

[A] vibrant mosaic for readers of all faiths.Publishers Weekly

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