Sicily

Three Thousand Years of Human History

By Sandra Benjamin
(Steerforth Press, Paperback, 9781586421311, 498pp.)

Publication Date: December 18, 2007

List Price: $24.00*
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Description

Tourists, armchair travelers, and historians will all delight in this fluid narrative that can be read straight through, dipped into over time, or used as a reference guide to each period in Sicily’s fascinating tale. Emigration of people from Sicily often overshadows the importance of the people who immigrated to the island through the centuries. These have included several who became Sicily’s rulers, along with Jews, Ligurians, and Albanians. Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Spaniards, Bourbons, the Savoy Kingdom of Italy and the modern era have all held sway, and left lasting influences on the island’s culture and architecture. Sicily’s character has also been determined by what passed it by: events that affected Europe generally, namely the Crusades and Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, remarkably had little influence on Italy’s most famous island. Maps, biographical notes, suggestions for further reading, a glossary, pronunciation keys, and much more make this unique book as essential as it is enjoyable.




About the Author
Sandra Benjamin was born in Troy, New York, and moved to New York City when she was sixteen. After earning a doctorate in economics at the New School for Social Research, she began moving around Europe, learning a few of its languages. Along the way she acquired a love for southern Italy. Reflecting her interest in the area, ten years ago she published "The World of Benjamin of Tudela: A Medieval Mediterranean Travelogue." Since then she has spent much of her time in Sicily. Always fascinated by the varied ethnic groups of New York City, she was similarly attracted by the diversity of peoples who became part of the fabric of Sicily.
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