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Qusayr 'Amra

Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria

Qusayr  'Amra by Garth Fowden
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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.
University of California Press; September 2004
423 pages; ISBN 9780520929609
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Title: Qusayr 'Amra
Author: Garth Fowden
 
ISBNs
0520929608
9780520236653
9780520929609