Mount Sinai

by George Manginis

George Manginis, with a scholarly knowledge of Islamic history and experience of digging archeologically on the dangerously electric summit of Mount Sinai, gives an engrossing account of the effect that this is indeed the Mountain of the Law.

‘…the memorable story, enlivened by visitors’ accounts, of the reputed spot where God came down to teach Moses.’

‘Unlike most existing literature, Manginis’ book does not discuss or illustrate the unique collection of manuscripts and icons in St Catherine’s. Instead it offers a different perspective and a fascinating story of the enduring appeal of Sinai over a period of nearly two millenia.’
History Today


Lucid and original; a veritable feast of interesting stories about Mt Sinai’s extraordinary past.
Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

As a traveller and pilgrim to Sinai on numerous occasions and now a Trustee of the St Catherine’s Foundation, I greatly enjoyed Georged Manginis’s Mount Sinai and learnt much from it… The book is a learned and delightful compassion to God-trodden Sinai.
Richard Chartres, ex-Bishop of London

This book is an absolute mine of riches, reflection, and information… I would strongly encourage anyone to pay a visit to this remarkable place of history, holiness and tradition.
Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

‘[Mount Sinai] is rich in detail, agile in narrative, and evocative in mood’
Nick Baines’s Blog

Mount Sinai examines the history of Hagia Koryphē (in Greek) and Jabal Mūsā (in Arabic): a mountain peak above the Monastery of St Catherine at South Sinai in Egypt. Known for centuries as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, as described in Exodus, the book explores the ways in which the landscape of the summit of Mount Sinai was experienced and transformed, using textual criticism, historical analysis, art history and, for the first time, archaeological interpretation. Beginning in the third century AD, when the identification of the Biblical ‘Mount Sinai’ was established, Mount Sinai extends through to the early twentieth century. Covering the natural environment, the Bedouin and early Christians, the importance of Mount Sinai in Muslim tradition, the cult of St Catherine, pilgrimage, as well as the scholarly, artistic and tourist phenomenon of the nineteenth century, Mount Sinai is a comprehensive and complete history of this remarkable place.

GEORGE MANGINIS has taught at the University of Edinburgh, SOAS – The University of London, the British Museum, the Benaki Museum in Athens and the New College of the Humanities in London. In 2013 he was a Stanley J Seeger Fellow at Princeton University.

In Arts in Isolation Podcast, George Manginis sheds light on the importance of the Monastery of St. Catherine in Mount Sinai, Egypt—the bridge between Asia and Africa. George will reveal, how unlike popular belief, the monastery has been an important place of pilgrimage for three Abrahamic religions alike: Christendom, Islam and Judaism. Listen here.

Also by this author, China Rediscovered.

Follow George on Twitter @GeorgeManginis

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