In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Walking Since Daybreak
“Walking Since Daybreak is a deeply moving and intellectually challenging view of modern history and its meaning for modern man… In its fresh look at the legacy of World War 11, Eksteins’ fine book builds a frame in which the crucial questions of modern history and its meaning are, insistently, to be asked.”
Los Angeles Times
“Modris Eksteins…has astutely and thrillingly braided together the tortured history of modern Latvia, his own personal story…and the fate of his family…Eksteins, a wonderfully complex truth teller who has with this book placed Latvia within the world’s imagination.”
“Walking Since Daybreak, an authoritative and moving mélange of historical analysis, family legend, and memoir…”
The Boston Globe
“…a brave and unusual departure. It isn’t quite history, although there is a lot of history in it…he focuses on what was characteristic for that time…”
Times Literary Supplement
“…as Eksteins’s terrible and marvelous work shows, to be modern is to be complex and fragmented. There is no simple truth, about the Baltics or soldiers or anything else.”
The Globe and Mail
“…a provocative, marvelously evocative new history…”