Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Defenders and Enemies of the True Cross: The Sasanian Conquest of Jerusalem in 614 and the Byzantine Ideology of Anti-Persian Warfare

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Defenders and Enemies of the True Cross: The Sasanian Conquest of Jerusalem in 614 and the Byzantine Ideology of Anti-Persian Warfare

Article excerpt

Stoyanov, Yuri. Defenders and Enemies of the True Cross: The Sasanian Conquest of Jerusalem in 614 and the Byzantine Ideology of Anti- Persian Warfare. [Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Sitzungsberichte, 819- Band; Veröffentlichungen zur Iranistik, Nr. 61.] (Vienna: Verlag der Österre- ichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 2011. Pp. 103-euro16,20 paperback. ISBN 978-3-7001-6957-4.)

In this short book, stemming from a research project of the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, the author links two subjects that are cur- rently attracting intense interest: first, the question of whether the Byzantines had a concept of holy war; and second, the contemporary responses to the Persian invasion of the Near East in the early-seventh century and the capture of Jerusalem in AD 614. In three chapters, he surveys the archaeological evi- dence for the effects of the invasion; the previous development of Christian attitudes to warfare; and the ideological and religious reactions by Byzantines, eastern Christians, and Jews to the war against the Sasanians (AD 603-28). He argues that the strongly expressed eschatological and apocalyptic themes in contemporary writing, including the accounts of the campaigns of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (who dramatically defeated the Sasanians in 628 and restored the captured relic of the True Cross to Jerusalem in 630). …

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