Quṣayr ʻAmra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria
From the stony desolation of Jordan's desert, it is but a step through a doorway into the bath house of the Qusayr 'Amra hunting lodge. Inside, multicolored frescoes depict scenes from courtly life and the hunt, along with musicians, dancing girls, and naked bathing women. The traveler is transported to the luxurious and erotic world of a mid-eighth-century Muslim Arab prince. For scholars, though, Qusayr 'Amra, probably painted in the 730s or 740s, has proved a mirage, its concreteness dissolved by doubts about date, patron, and meaning. This is the first book-length contextualization of the mysterious monument through a compelling analysis of its iconography and of the literary sources for the Umayyad period. It illuminates not only the way of life of the early Muslim elite but also the long afterglow of late antique Syria.
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1 MUSILS FAIRYTALE CASTLE
2 LUXURIES OF THE BATH
3 THE HUNT
4 O GOD BLESS THE AM298R
5 THE PRINCELY PATRON
6 MAINTAINING THE DYNASTY
7 THE SIX KINGS
8 A CAPTIVE SASANIAN PRINCESS
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ªAbd al-Malik ªAmmán Abbasid Abú ªIráq al-•akam al-Azraq al-buldán al-Faddayn Al-Madáºiní al-Qays al-Ru3áfa al-Walíd alcove Alláh amír apodyterium áq-i Bustán Arabic arch architectural artists ªUmar Bahrám Balqáº bath house caldarium caliph century chapter Christian court Creswell cultural Dághir Damascus decoration depicted Derenk desert dynastic icon E.Is early east aisle ﬁg ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂanked ﬂoor frescoes Ghassanid girl God’s Grabar Greek hall hall’s Hillenbrand Hishám hunting scene images Imruº inﬂuence inscription Irán Iranian Islam Jaussen and Savignac Jordan K.ªA Khirbat al-Mafjar Kisrá Kitáb al-aghání Lakhmid late antique late Umayyad least literary Mielich mosaic mosque Mu¶ammad Mushattá Musil Muslim onager paintings palace panel personiﬁcations poet poetry portrait pre-Islamic Q.ªA Qa3r al-•ayr al-Gharbí Qasr Qu3ayr ªAmra qu3úr Qurºán reﬂected rulers Sasanian Sauvaget Savignac signiﬁcant six kings Spanish restoration speciﬁc Syria Taºríkh throne tion tradition trans Umayyad vault Vibert-Guigue diss Wádí wall women Yazíd