|Smyrne et l’Occident: L’histoire intégrale d’une ville Levantine [An intergral history of a Levantine city]- Léon Kontenté - Yvelinedition, 2005, France|
The book is a source for every Smyrna enthusiast. It explores the history of Smyrna from the era of the Bayrakli settlement (old Smyrna) down to the modern period. It gives the impression that there is no aspect of Smyrna’s civic life left untouched, although the modern period is much more extensive than antiquity. The author has used a variety of references, be it English, French, Greek and Turkish. He also quotes testimonies of several people, from Ottoman officers to European travellers, thus livening up the narration. The big advantage of the book are the 79, mostly original maps, that supplement the text and help the reader comprehend the evolution of the city and the relations with its environment. Rich bibliography (15 pages!) and 2,199 footnotes are included too. The cons of the publication are the complete absence of a name index, a chronological table and photographs as well as the fact that the reader must be able to read French.
Reviewed by Achilleas Chatziconstantinou January 2007