The iconography of the palace : court and court culture in Madînat al-Zahra during the 'golden' age of Umayyad al-Andalus
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This thesis examines the Iconography of the Caliphal Palace of Madînat al-Zahra, and aims to provide an analysis of the inter-relationship between the physical fabric of the Palace, and of the ceremony and cultural endeavours which occurred within it. Having provided a brief history of the Amirs and their contributions to the architecture of al-Andalus, and the inferences that may be drawn from the construction of these buildings, the second chapter discusses the physical reality of Madînat al-Zahra, using both archaeological material and source material. The third chapter provides a discussion of court ceremonial, and a discussion of its effect on the psyche of those who participated in it, as well as a comparison of three different courts ; Byzantine, ʿAbbasid and Umayyad. The last chapter examines another facet of the Iconography of the Palace, namely the attendant courtly culture, focusing particularly on the Arabic literature of the milieu. A short sub-chapter follows the fourth chapter, in which the Hebrew literature of the Mosabh, and the contribution of the Sephardim to the milieu are discussed.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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