Salonica, located in northern Greece, was long a fascinating crossroads metropolis of different religions and ethnicities, where Egyptian merchants, Spanish Jews, Orthodox Greeks, Sufi dervishes, and Albanian brigands all rubbed shoulders. Tensions sometimes flared, but tolerance largely prevailed until the twentieth century when the Greek army marched in, Muslims were forced out, and the Nazis deported and killed the Jews. As the acclaimed historian Mark Mazower follows the city’s inhabitants through plague, invasion, famine, and the disastrous twentieth century, he resurrects a fascinating and vanished world.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Salonica, City of Ghosts|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group||Store Sales Rank: 9828|
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Salonica, City of Ghosts
Before the city fell in 1430, it had already enjoyed seventeen hundred years of life as a Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine metropolis. Sometimes it had flourished, at others it was sacked and looted. Foreigners had seized it and moved on. Throughout it remained a city whose inhabitants spoke Greek. But of this Greek past, only traces survived the Ottoman conquest. A few Christian survivors returned and saw their great churches turned into mosques. The Hippodrome, forum and imperial palace fell into ruins which gradually disintegrated and slipped beneath the slowly rising topsoil, leaving an invisible substratum of catacombs, crypts and secret passages. In a very different era, far in the future, archaeologists would assign new values to the statues, columns and sarcophagi they found, and new rulers—after the Ottomans had been defeated in their turn—would use them to reshape and redefine the city once more. One thing, however, always survived as a reminder of its Greek origins, however badly it was battered and butchered by time and strangers, and that was its name.
Salonicco, Selanik, Solun? Salonicha or Salonique? There are at least thirteen medieval variants alone; the city is an indexer’s nightmare and a linguist’s delight. “Is there really a correct pronunciation of Salonika?” wrote an English ex-serviceman in 1941. “At any rate nearly all of us now spell it with a ‘k.’ ” His presumption stirred up a hornet’s nest. “Why Saloneeka, when every man in the last war knew it as Salonika?” responded a certain Mr. Pole from Totteridge. “I disagree with W. Pole,” wrote C...