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 Sicilyís 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 Sicilyís 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 islandís culture and architecture. Sicilyís character has also been determined by what passed it by: events that affected Europe generally, namely the Crusades and Columbusís discovery of the Americas, remarkably had little influence on Italyís 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.
Sandra Benjamin was born in Troy, New York, and moved to New York City when she was sixteen. Eleven 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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