One of a series of small books on great architectural wonders of the world, The Temple of Jerusalem presents a useful summary of various envisionings of the three Jewish structures erected on Mount Moriah, as well as their appropriation in stone and lore by other cultures. Respected Cambridge scholar Simon Goldhill, whose writing centers on life in the ancient pagan world, is not an obvious choice for this project, but he has performed well, despite a few too many nods to multicultural correctness.
This is a survey of the history of the idea of the Temple, as much as its actual history, and as such, is very concerned with later usage of the site by medieval Christians and Moslems, as well as conceptual borrowings by another great “biblical” people, the British. There is gripping history and detail here, breezily moving from the career of the British soldier, bureaucrat and archaeologist, General Sir Charles Warren, to the Knights Templar, freemasonry and the current Moslem structures. There is also a fascinating and well-illustrated section on widely variant drawings and models of the Temple. Illus.
Jeff Bogursky reads a lot, writes a little and talks quite a bit. He is a media executive and expert in digital media.