Qusayr 'Amra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria

Front Cover
University of California Press, Sep 20, 2004 - Design - 424 pages
1 Review
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 MUSILS FAIRYTALE CASTLE
1
2 LUXURIES OF THE BATH
31
3 THE HUNT
85
4 O GOD BLESS THE AM298R
115
5 THE PRINCELY PATRON
142
6 MAINTAINING THE DYNASTY
175
7 THE SIX KINGS
197
8 A CAPTIVE SASANIAN PRINCESS
227
9 QUSAYR AMRA CONTEXTUALIZED
248
10 UMAYYAD SELFREPRESENTATION
291
Epilogue
325
The Value of Arabic Literary Sources
327
Bibliography
335
Index
375
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Garth Fowden is Research Professor at the Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Research Foundation in Athens. He is author of The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind (reprinted 1993) and Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity (1993).

Bibliographic information