Item description for The Siege of Rhodes by Nanami Shiono...
Knighthood's Final Hour?
By the early sixteenth century, Rhodes, the "Isle of Blossoming Roses," had become a thorne in the Ottoman Empire's side. Located only eleven miles from the coast of Asia Minor, the island was controlled by the Order of the Knights of St. John (later known as the Knights of Malta), former crusaders who by then had two specialties: tending to ailing Christians and pirating Muslim ships.
In 1522, Sultan Suleiman I resolved to put an end to it and unleashed a force of a hundred thousand troops to beseige the island. Rhodes's proximity to Ottoman territory ensured that the Turkish soldiers would be well armed, well fed, and quickly replaced if killed or injured. Facing them was a force of only six hundred knights, fifteen hundred mercanaries and three thousand native Rhodians.
In this, the second installment in The East Mediterranean Trilogy, Nanami Shiono weaves another rich and fascinating narrative around a key battle between Islam and Christendom. An inspiring portrait of nobility and courage in the face of overwhelming odds, it also offers a rare glimpse into the history of one of the most important knightly orders, one that helped establish the tradition of medical care in the West as we know it today.
Nanami Shiono is the preeminent author of popular history in Japanese today. In survey after survey, the most powerful Japanese politicians and industrialists (many of whom she counts as personal friends) name her as their favorite author, and she enjoys a degree of influence in public discourse that few authors anywhere could hope to match. In 1970, the same year she won the first of many literary awards for her early masterpiece Cesare Borgia, or Elegant Cruelty, she moved permanently to her adopted home of Italy. Although she first rose to prominence as an author of works set in Renaissance Italy, her expertise has widened to include the Mediterranean as a whole, as well as ancient Rome (which she treats in her bestselling fifteen-volume history, The Tale of the Romans). The East Mediterranean Trilogy, completed in 1987, remains among her most enduringly popular works. The first volume, The Fall of Constantinople, is available from Vertical, and the last, The Battle of Lepanto, is forthcoming.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 8" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 7, 2006
ISBN 1932234322 ISBN13 9781932234329
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More About Nanami Shiono
Nanami Shiono is the preeminent author of popular history in Japanese today. In survey after survey, the most powerful Japanese politicians and industrialists (many of whom she counts as personal friends) name her as their favorite author, and she enjoys a degree of influence in public discourse that few authors anywhere could hope to match. In 1970, the same year she won the first of many literary awards for her early masterpiece "Cesare Borgia," or "Elegant Cruelty," she moved permanently to her adopted home of Italy. Although she first rose to prominence as an author of works set in Renaissance Italy, her expertise has widened to include the Mediterranean as a whole, as well as ancient Rome (which she treats in her bestselling fifteen-volume history, "The Tale of the Romans)." "The East Mediterranean Trilogy," completed in 1987, remains among her most enduringly popular works. The first volume, "The Fall of Constantinople," is available from Vertical, as well as "The Siege of Rhodes " and the last volume, "The Battle of Lepanto."
Reviews - What do customers think about The Siege of Rhodes?
A popular history of a significant clash between Islam and Christianity Jan 19, 2008
Nanami Shiono writes popular history in Japanese. Her "East Mediterranean Trilogy" presents three major events in the clash between the Ottomans and the West -- the battle for Constantinople in 1453, the siege and fall of Rhodes in 1522, and the battle of Lepanto in 1571.
THE SIEGE OF RHODES is the second of the trilogy. Its subject is the gargantuan invasion of the island of Rhodes by the Ottomans or Turks under Sultan Suleiman I (almost 200,000 strong) to rid the eastern Mediterranean of the last outpost of Christian Crusaders, the Knights of the Order of St. John (about 600 knights supported by a few thousand mercenaries and civilians). But the book also includes much about the Knights of St. John as a religious knightly order, the "state-of-the-art" fortress and ancillary facilities they constructed on Rhodes, medieval and siege warfare, Sixteenth-Century European politics, and a handful of historical personalities.
The book is relatively short, and it is quite readable. Indeed, it is very much "popular history," so much so that it might be summarily dismissed by Western readers accustomed to certain standards of scholarly history-writing (for example, srictures against lengthy verbatim conversations and the presentation of the subjective thoughts and feelings of historical figures -- two narrative devices quite common to this book). But, aside from the "populistic" narrative devices, the history of THE SIEGE OF RHODES is sound; there is no equally readable and/or focused "scholarly" account currently on the market; and certainly sound popular history is preferable to ignorance.
Although I have not traveled abroad extensively, I did have the good fortune to go to Rhodes once. My brief visit would have been enhanced had this book been available and had I read it.
Simplistic May 11, 2007
This book, and it's 2 companion volumes, are very simplistic accounts of pivotal moments in renaissance mediterrean history.
As history they are very limited. There are no notes, no bibliographies, no idexes and very limited maps.
Worse, for books purporting to be history, their writing style is juvenile and contrived, more suited to maybe a sixth grade class room than adult history. The books are marred by made up conversations and situations, to perhaps illustrate history, but certainly nothing that was found in whatever research the author might have done.
I can't really see how this writer is the most loved historian in Japan, based on these books. Perhaps the translator has simplified the language and ideas, who knows.
So, if you have a grade school or junior high child who wanted an introduction to these events, they might be useful, but for adult reading they should be bypassed.
All in all, very disappointing efforts for someone who claims to be a historian.