Jerusalem from the Ottomans to the British (IB Tauris 2009)

In December 1917, British troops entered Jerusalem, thereby ending Ottoman rule and opening a new and important era in the history of Jerusalem. Roberto Mazza discusses the period of transition from Ottoman rule to the British administration, focusing on the socio-political changes from the nineteenth century to the twentieth, the impact of the First World War and the ongoing development of Jerusalem into the vibrant city it has become. He considers the impact of the change in administration on the local population and uses case studies to provide new perspectives on this often overlooked period in Jerusalem's history.

'[this book] provides students of the Middle East, Palestine and Jerusalem a cogent and rich discussion of a unique moment in Jerusalem's history…he should be commended for undertaking such thorough research to complete this study.' – International Journal of Middle East Studies

'..an important work which should provoke further debate about this crucial moment in the history of Palestine.' – Bulletin of SOAS

This fine book covers new ground on the history of both Jerusalem and Palestine. Roberto Mazza sheds light on a crucial and under-researched period of the history of Palestine which witnessed the issue of the Balfour declaration and the fast development of Zionist propaganda as a prelude to the establishment of the British mandate' – Nelida Fuccaro.

'Roberto Mazza's study is the best work we have to date on Jerusalem during the transition from Ottoman to British rule.' – Nir Arielli.

'Roberto Mazza's study highlights the essential mechanisms and infrastructures that were in place in Jerusalem during the Ottoman era and how this had an impact on British visions for the city' – Vivian Ibrahim.


Jerusalem in World War I. The Palestine Diary of a European Diplomat (IB Tauris 2011)

When World War I broke out in Europe in the autumn of 1914, a young diplomat was sent to Jerusalem to take charge of the Spanish consulate in the city. Antonio de la Cierva y Lewita, better known as Conde de Ballobar, recorded the events he witnessed and described his experiences and opinions in a unique document that has become an invaluable resource for historians. Ballobar's diary provides an unparalleled insight into late Ottoman Jerusalem - and the upheavals of wartime life in the city - and includes a detailed account of the battle amongst the local churches over control of the city's holy places. Also touching upon the spread of Zionism and the establishment of British rule, Ballobar writes as a privileged observer of an exceptionally complex historical period. Available in English for the first time, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of the late-Ottoman Empire and World War I in the Middle East.

""...an unparalleled insight into the late Ottoman Jerusalem...this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of the late Ottoman Empire and World War I in the Middle East"" – Abrar

The translation from the original Spanish to English is clear. In sum, Roberto Mazza has produced a book which will be of permanent value to all scholars studying the Jerusalem during the WWI and which also reflected the historical record of the time through the lenses of the Spanish consul. - Aişegül Akkoyun

The diary of the Spanish consul in Jerusalem, Conde de Ballobar, is a treasure for historians of World War I in Palestine. [Until now] it was a hidden treasure. This translation of the diary into English presents this treasure to the astonished public. From now on, this diary will be an indispensable tool for those who try to really understand the situation in this decisive period almost 100 years ago.” - Norbert Schwake

Area of research

Palestine, Jerusalem, Urban History, Ottoman History, Christian Communities, Diplomacy and Politics

Available for lectures, seminars and full courses in person or online (contact robbymazza@gmail.com for availability and rates).


  • History of the First World War in the Middle East
  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • A history of Jerusalem
  • Global History of Conspiracy Theories

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