A Druze Warlord at the Court of the Medici
T. J. Gorton
7" x 7 1/2" • 248 pages
ISBN 9780704372979 • hardback • $35.00 •
“Renaissance Emir reads like a gripping, enjoyable and vivid novel. A must for anyone who looks at the history of Lebanon in order to understand the present.”
—Hanan al-Shaykh, author of The Story of Zahra and The Locust and the Bird
“Fakhr ad-Din Ma’n, one of the most flamboyant figures of the seventeenth century, bestrode two worlds. Ted Gorton’s vivid and well-researched account of Fakhr ad-Din’s ultimately tragic career guides us into the labyrinths of politics in both the Ottoman Empire and Medici Tuscany.”
—Robert Irwin, author of The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature
“A fascinating story, bolder than any historical fiction, rescued from the hidden pages of Levantine history. Gorton takes us to the secret world of the mysterious Druze and the epic, ultimately tragic tale of their extraordinary prince who dared to defy the mighty Ottoman Empire.”
—Barnaby Rogerson, author of The Last Crusaders
“Fakhr ad-Din’s story is unique… an interesting character condemned to live in interesting times, a period Renaissance Emir does an excellent job of evoking… Now, thanks to original research by T. G. Gorton, and his extensive use of contemporary Arabic and European sources, Fakhr ad-Din’s story can be more fully appreciated… Renaissance Emir is an original and informative book which will go a long way to redressing its subject’s undeserved obscurity.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“T.J. Gorton’s main aim is to tell an extraordinary story, and he does so with great enthusiasm and sympathy… lively and readable book…”
The year is 1613: the Ottoman Empire is at its height, sprawling from Hungary to Iraq, Moroccoto Yemen. One man dares to challenge it: the Prince of the mysterious Druze sect in Mount Lebanon, Fakhr ad-Din. Yielding before a mighty army sent to conquer him, he-astonishingly-takes refuge with the Medici in Florence at the height of the Renaissance.
During his five-year stay in Italy, he fights to persuade Popes, Grand-Dukes and Viceroys to support a grand plan: a new Crusade to wrest the Holy Land from the Ottomans, giving Jerusalem back to Christendom and himself a crown.
This groundbreaking biography of Fakhr ad-Din, Prince of the Druze, is based on the author's vivid new translations of contemporary sources in Arabic and other languages. It brings to life one remarkable man's beliefs and ambitions, uniquely illuminating the elusive interface between Eastern and Western culture.
Ted Gorton taught Arabic at St Andrews University in Scotland and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and elsewhere, besides spending twenty-five years negotiating oil concessions. Ted has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, mostly about Hispano-Arabic poetry, and two volumes of Arabic poetry in translation. His last book was Lebanon: Through Writers' Eyes (Eland Books, 2009). He lives in London and Gascony.
Olive Branch Press
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