Between Salt Water And Holy Water Paperback – Aug 8 2006
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The history of Italy tends to focus on events from Rome northward, too often giving short shift to the peculiarly named "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies." Astarita does a masterful job of correcting this error and bringing to life for English speakers the people and events of these lands so central to the entire Mediterranean basin. European by geography, the region had close ties to Africa from the time of Carthage onward. Post-Roman Empire southern Italy fell under the sway of the Normans in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and Astarita recounts the era of kings Roger I and II, who dealt with the diverse powers of the papacy and sizable Muslim populations in their realm. Astarita is at his best discussing South Italy and Sicily's social history, the roles of religion and superstition as animating forces in the populace's everyday lives. A highly readable history, this volume will be enthusiastically received wherever there are concentrations of Italian-Americans. Population tables and genealogical charts add to the text's clarity. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"In the words of Anthony Grafton: 'This wonderful book offers the best introduction in any language to a complex and fascinating region. Southern Italy baffles, enchants and sometimes enrages foreigners - including most northern Italians! Tommaso Astarita's wide-ranging book sets the Fascinating and sometimes frightening society and culture of the South into the centuries of historical context that have shaped them and set them apart from the rest of Italy - and Europe.'" London Review of Books * "Astarita has produced an accessible and compelling history of an oft-ignored region." BBC History Magazine * "Lucid, evocative, and richly detailed." Jay Parini"See all Product Description
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At the high point of Roman civilization, in the late first century BC, the great poet Virgil immortalized in his Aeneid the heroic journey of Aeneas from Troy to Italy, where his descendants would found Rome, the city destined to universal empire. Read the first page
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Or if you want to just kick back in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere in the world...well, Capri, Amalfi, Positano have been destinations for film stars as well as the hoi poloi for years...they and their neighbors have it all.
And if you want to know how and why its like it is...this is easily the best, most readible (and un-sentimentalized)book on the subject. An essential for a lover of Southern Italy. DW