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William Dalrymple

From the Holy Mountain

Hay Festival 1997, 
Dalrymple follows in the steps of the 6th Century monk John Moschos across the arc of the Byzantine world. His pilgrimage takes him through a bloody civil war in eastern Turkey, the ruins of Beirut and a fundamentalist uprising in southern Egypt. He observes the flickering iconography of crumbling Byzantine monasteries, picks his way along the medieval lanes of the Silk Route and listens to liturgies unchanged for 1000 years as he witnesses the death-throes of the kinship between the Eastern Christians and Islam.