It must also be said that there's an element of uncertainty about some of these conquests, either because Sebag Montefiore merely alluded to them, or because no-one really knows and therefore he wrote so briefly. There is also almost no way of knowing about the first 2,000 years of the town before the arrival of David: there's next to no data.
The number I reached was 61. I encourage everyone to read his book, so I'm not going to give any descriptions, but here are the dates and names of the conquerors:
|1200BCE||Tribes of Israel|
|323-301 BCE||Macedonians, 6 times|
|164 BCE||Judah Macabee|
|155? BCE||Jonathan Hasmonai|
|143 BCE||Antiochus VII|
|44 BCE||Pacorus& Antigonos|
|602||Greens (Byzantine rebels)|
|1250-1260||10 years of chaos and alternating temporary rulers|
|1517||Selim the Grim|
|1590||a local rebel|
The notion, accepted as an article of faith the world over these days, that the 60th conquest of the city, in 1948, was the one that sets the bar for legal occupation, so that the Israeli conquest in 1967 is illegal, is profoundly silly when you look at this list. Not to say idiotic, and not to mention that the occupier in 1947 was Jordan, not the Palestinians. One might say allowing Palestinian rule over half the city would create peace, but that's a different argument: pragmatism, not international law; it is compelling only if there's reason to believe it's true and division will bring peace.