The intertwining and combining of geometric motifs such as rhombus and etiolated polygons, form interlacing networks that completely cover the surface, resulting in shapes often called arabesques. One innovationwithinthedecorativerepertoireistheintroductionof epigraphicelements Art was also at the service of rulers. It was for patrons that architects built palaces, mosques, schools, hospitals, bathhouses, caravanserais and mauso- leums, which would sometimes bear their names.
Islamic art is, above all, dynastic art. Each one contributed tendencies that would bring about a partial or complete renewal of artistic forms,depending on historical condi- tions, the prosperity enjoyed by their states, and the traditions of each people. Islamic art, in spite of its relative unity, allowed for a diversity that gave rise to different styles, each one identified with a dynasty. It absorbed and incorporated the Hellenistic and Byzantine legacy in such a way that the classical tradition of the Mediterranean was recast in a new and innovative mould. Islamic art,thus,was formed in Syria,and the architecture, unmistakably Islamic due to the personality of the founders, would continue to bear a relation to Hellenistic and Byzantine art as well.
The most important of these monuments are the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,the earliest existing monumental Islamic sanctuary, the Great Mosque of Damascus, which served as a model for later mosques, and the desert palaces of Syria, Jordan and Palestine. This factor would influence the development of Islamic civilisation and the entire range of culture, and art would bear the mark of that change.
Abbasid art and architecture were influenced by three major traditions: Sassanian, Central Asian and Seljuq. Central Asian influence was already present in Sassanian architecture,but at Samarra this influence is represented by the stucco style with its arabesque ornamentation that would rapidly spread throughout the Islamic world. The influence of the Abbasid monuments can be observed in the buildings constructed during this period in the other regions of the empire,particularly Egypt and Ifriqiya.
It was modelled after the Abbasid Great Mosque of Samarra, particularly its spiral minaret. Its mihrab was covered by ceramic tiles from Mesopotamia. Kairouan Mosque, mihrab,Tunisia. Kairouan Mosque, minaret,Tunisia. Complex of Qaluwun, Cairo,Egypt. Of their architectural constructions, a few examples remain that bear witness to their past glory.
They established religious institutions madrasas, khanqas for the propagation of Sunni Islam, mausoleums and welfare projects, as well as awesome fortifications pertaining to the military conflict with the Crusaders. The Citadel ofAleppo in Syria is a remarkable example of their military architecture.
For the world of Islam, the Mamluk period marked a rebirth and renaissance. The enthusiasm for establishing religious foundations and reconstructing existing ones place the Mamluks among the greatest patrons of art and architecture in the history of Islam. A distinctive style of Seljuq art and architecture flourished with influences from CentralAsia,Iran,Mesopotamia and Syria,which merged with elements deriving from Anatolian Christian and antiquity heritage. Konya, the new capital in CentralAnatolia,as well as other cities,were enriched with buildings in the newly developed Seljuq style.
Numerous mosques, madrasas,turbes and caravanserais, which were richly decorated by stucco and tiling with diverse figural representations, have survived to our day. As the Seljuq emirates disintegrated and Byzantium declined,the Ottomans expanded their territory swiftly chang- ing their capital from Iznik to Bursa and then again to Edirne. A superpower that extended its bound- aries toVienna including the Balkans in theWest and to Iran in the East,as well The race to sur- pass the grandeur of the inherited Byzantine churches, exemplified by the Hagia Sophia, culminated in the construction of great mosques in Istanbul.
Al-Andalus at the western part of the Islamic world became the cradle of a brilliant artistic and cultural expres- sion. The Great Mosque of Cordoba would pioneer innovative artistic tendencies such as the double tiered arches with two alternating colours and panels with vegetal orna- The influence of the architecture of Cordoba and other capitals such as Seville would be felt in all of theAlmoravid monuments fromTlemcen,Algiers to Fez.
During this period, artistic creativity that originated with the Almoravid rulers was renewed and masterpieces of Islamic art were created. The Merinids perpetuated al-Andalus art, enriching it with new features. They embellished their capital Fez with an abundance of mosques, palaces and madrasas, with their clay mosaic and zellij panelling in the wall decorations, considered Decoration detail, Abu Inan Madrasa, Meknes,Morocco. They continued to build and decorate their monuments using the same formulas and the same decorative themes as had the preceding dynasties, adding innovative touches characteristic of their creative genius.
Religious Architecture Mosques The mosque for obvious reasons lies at the very heart of Islamic architecture. It is an apt symbol of the faith that it serves. That symbolic role was under- stood by Muslims at a very early stage, and played an important part in the creation of suitable visual markers for the building: minaret, dome, mihrab, minbar, etc. Early mosques built by the Muslims as their empire was expanding were simple. The general plan consists of a large courtyard surrounded by arched porticoes, with more aisles or arcades on the side facing Mecca qibla than the other sides. Two other types of mosques developed in Anatolia and afterwards in the Ottoman domains: the basilical and the dome types.
The second type, which developed during the Ottoman period, has its organisation of interior space under a single dome. The main dome rests on hexagonal support system, while lateral bays are covered by smaller domes. During this period, mosques became multipurpose social complexes consisting of a zawiya, a madrasa, a public kitchen, a bath, a caravanserai and a mausoleum of the founder. The minaret from the top of which the muezzin calls Muslims to prayer, is the most prominent marker of the mosque.
In Syria the traditional minaret consists of a square-plan tower built of stone. In Mamluk Egypt minarets are each divided into three distinct zones: a square section at the bottom, an octagonal middle section and a circular section with a small dome on the top. Its shaft is richly decorated and the transition between each section is covered with a band of muqarnas decoration. Minarets in North Africa and Spain, that share the square tower form with Syria, are decorated with panels of motifs around paired sets of windows. During the Ottoman period the octagonal or cylindrical minarets replaced the square tower.
Often these are tall pointed minarets and although mosques generally have only one minaret,in major cities there are two, four or even six minarets.
A later type developed has an open courtyard with a central iwan and surrounded by arcades. This era witnessed the introduction of the madrasa established by a civic or political leader for the advancement of Islamic jurisprudence. The foundation was funded by an endowment in perpetuity waqf , usually the revenues of land or property in the form of an orchard, shops in a market suq , or a bathhouse hammam.
The madrasa traditionally followed a cruciform plan with a central court surrounded by four iwans. Soon the madrasa became a dominant architectural form with mosques adopting a four-iwan plan. The madrasa gradually lost its sole religious and political function as a propaganda tool and tended to have a broader civic function,serving as a congregational mosque and a mausoleum for the benefactor.
The construction of madrasas in Egypt and particularly in Cairo gathered new momentum with the coming of the Mamluks. The iwan disappeared gradually and was replaced by a dominant dome chamber. A substantial increase in the number of domed cells used by students is a characteristic of Ottoman madrasas. One of the various building types that by virtue of their function and of their form can be related to the madrasa is the khanqa.
The term indicates an institution, rather than a particular kind of building, that houses members of a Muslim mystical sufi order. Several other words used by Muslim historians as synonyms for khanqa include: in the Maghrib, zawiya; in Ottoman domain, tekke; and in general, ribat. In its simplest form the khanqa was a house where a group of pupils gathered around a master shaykh , and it had the facilities for assembly, prayer and communal living. Mausoleums The terminology of the building type of the mausoleum used in Islamic sources is varied. The standard descriptive term turbe refers to the function of the building as for burial.
Another term is qubba that refers to the most identifiable, the dome, and often marks a structure commemorating Biblical prophets, companions of the Prophet Muhammad and religious or military notables. The function of mausoleums is not limited simply to a place of burial They are venerated as tombs of local saints and became places of pilgrimage. In some cases the mausoleum became part of a joint foundation. Forms of Medieval Islamic mausoleums are varied, but the traditional one has a domed square plan.
Secular Architecture Palaces The Umayyad period is characterised by sumptuous palaces and bathhouses in remote desert regions. Their basic plan is largely derived from Roman military models. Although the decoration of these structures is eclectic, they constitute the best examples of the budding Islamic decorative style. Mosaics, mural paintings, stone or stucco sculpture were used for a remarkable variety of decorations and themes.
Abbasid palaces in Iraq, such as those at Samarra and Ukhaidir, follow the same plan as their Umayyad forerunners, but are marked by increase in size, the use of the great iwan, dome and courtyard, and the extensive use of stucco decorations. Palaces in the later Islamic period developed a distinctive style that was more decorative and less monumental. The most remarkable example of royal or princely palaces is the Alhambra.
The vast area of the palace is broken up into a series of separate units: gardens, pavilions and courts. The most striking Qasr al-Khayr al-Sharqi,Syria. Ribat of Sousse, Tunisia. Caravanserais A caravanserai generally refers to a large structure that provides a lodging place for travellers and merchants. Normally, it is a square or rectangular floor plan, with a single projecting monumental entrance and towers in the exterior walls. A central court- yard is surrounded by porticoes and rooms for lodging travellers, storing merchandise and for the stabling of animals.
The characteristic type of building has a wide range of functions since it has been described as khan, han, funduq, ribat. These terms may imply no more than differences in regional vocabularies rather than being distinctive functions or types. The architectural sources of the various types of caravanserais are difficult to identify. Some are perhaps derived from the Roman castrum or military camp to which the Umayyad desert palaces are related. Other types, in Mesopotamia and Persia, are associated with domestic architecture. These are massive constructions built in materials characteristic of the region in which they are found; stone in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, or brick, stone and rammed earth in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa.
A unique example of military architecture is the ribat. Technically, this is a fortified palace designated for the temporary or permanent warriors of Islam who committed themselves to the defence of frontiers. The division of the majority of Islamic cities into neighbourhoods is based on ethnic and religious affinity and it is also a system of urban organisation that facilitates the administration of the population.
In the neighbourhood there is always a mosque. A bathhouse, a fountain, an oven and a group of stores are located either within or nearby.
Its structure is formed by a network of streets, alleys and a collection of houses. Depending on the region and era, the home takes on diverse features governed by the historical and cultural traditions, climate and construction materials available. The market suq , which functions as the nerve-centre for local businesses, would be the most relevant characteristic of Islamic cities. Its distance from the mosque determines the spatial organisation of the markets by specialised guilds.
This geographic distribution responds to imperatives that rank on strictly technical grounds. Aleppo Q. Najm Maskaneh Q. The Fatimids even took over the holy lands in Palestine and Arabia. An additional and ever-present pressure on the Muslim world of this region came also from the north, the Byzantine Empire, which indulged in expansionist campaigns encroaching into northern and coastal Syria. A local tribe known as the Hamdanids made great efforts to establish a strong court in Aleppo to counter the Byzantine menace, particularly under the leadership of Sayf al-Dawla d.
Table showing the Abbasid and the Fatimid Caliphs. The pervasive sense of insecurity and continuous warfare is lamented by the Syrian poet Abu al-Alaa al-Maarri d. Many of their Turkmen armies headed towards Armenia, the Caucasus and Anatolia to fight back the Byzantines and their allies. Under the leadership of Sultan Alp Arslan d. These Turkmen, known as the Seljuq-Rum, settled in Anatolia.
With the Byzantine army wrecked, the main branch of the Seljuqs proceeded to occupy Syria and push the Fatimid powers out. The Seljuqs attached great importance to Syria as the westward extension of their powerful position, especially since it marked the frontier with their Fatimid rivals. With their political rejuvenation, the Seljuqs had a cultural impact too, adding Eastern Iranian and Central Asian traditions to the Islamic governmental system and the Arab lands, as well as influencing the indigenous artistic and architectural repertoire.
In order to galvanise the fragmented society into taking heed of their leader- ship, the Seljuqs embarked on massive urban-development campaigns that weaknesses. Known as the Assassins, from the Arabic term Hashshashin, they added further to the diversity and political interplay of the region.
Berk Yaruq b. Muhammad b. Mahmud b. Toghril b. Arslan b. Thus, the Seljuqs built madrasas colleges for legal and theological study in abundance. It was also in this period that Muhammad al-Ghazali d. The work gave new impetus to traditional regulations of Islam and brought the mystical approach of the Muslim faith, Sufism, within the folds of traditional Islamic practice, attracting a wider and more nuanced scope of believers. Safwat al-Mulk was a capable regent as a widow. The Faranj Amidst this busy period of transition, a new and unexpected threat appeared.
This sudden and unprece- dented appearance of the Franks and their plundering of the Holy Land shocked the community. But the political rulers — Seljuq princelings, Turkish and Kurdish atabegs and various other Arab tribal dynasties — were unable to unite. The main reason for this lack of unity was that Detail of wooden screen from the Mausoleum of Sultan Duqaq in Damascus, now in the National Museum of Damascus.
The complicated political fabric of the region influenced the internal policies of the Seljuqs in building a strong, obedient and unified society. The Zangid and Ayyubid dynasties, which exemplify Syria during this period, originated from the Seljuq sultanate. The Atabegs The Seljuqs had a strong policy of reconstructing the wearied cities to support their religious, economic and political revival. Given the wide expanse of territory, they often maintained local rulers, together with the employment of members of the Seljuq family as provin- cial governors, known as Atabegs.
The first person to be given the title of Atabeg was Nizam al-Mulk d. Madrasa Atabakiyya, Damascus, detail of the stone muqarnas portal. The Zangids Imad al-Din Zangi, the Atabeg ruler of Aleppo, was one of the most important Atabegs to consolidate his autonomy within the Seljuq Empire, thanks to his many successful expeditions.
His son, Nur al-Din r. This was one of the strongest victories of the Muslim warriors against the Crusaders, and Nur al-Din was everywhere extolled for his virtues as a defender of Islam. This secured inner unity and shared efforts of jihad against their common enemy. In Syria, the focal point of the rivalry was between the Atabegs of Aleppo ruling under the Seljuq prince Radwan, and the Atabegs of Damascus ruling under the Seljuq prince Duqaq, while the smaller cities that lay in between them came under alternating spheres of influence.
Though war marked the period, so did refortification and urban expansion, largely thanks to the might of the Seljuqs. If the status of Syrian cities at the end of Fatimid domination was to be compared with their situation under the Seljuq Atabegs, it would not be an exaggeration to say that they witnessed a second coming; a re-founding. United, thus, under one visionary leadership, Damascus and Aleppo created a solid front to counter the Crusader states. He founded new mosques, many of which are referred to colloquially as Nuri mosques in his name, as well as schools, hospitals and fortifications.
Nur al-Din endowed his mosques with innovative finely carved wooden minbars or pulpits, from which weekly sermons methodically propagated his vision, calling for piety, unity and jihad to liberate Jerusalem from the Frankish invaders. On an economic level, this unification of northern and southern Syria also gave him access to the fertile lands and granaries of Hauran and Bosra in the south which were necessary to keep his war-threatened cities well fed and prosperous.
All in all the arrival of Nur al-Din to Damascus marked the beginning of a new era for Syria. From the northern regions of Aleppo and the Byzantine frontiers, through the cities of Hama and Homs, to the new capital of Damascus and all the way south to the region of Bosra where pilgrims set off to the Holy Lands of Arabia, all of Syria became a united front. Islamic Museum, al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.
The city of Damascus witnessed a veritable political, economic and cultural renaissance becoming in every sense an imperial capital that revived a legacy, which dates back to the Umayyad Caliphate some years earlier. Interred in the funerary madrasa that he was in the process of constructing to the south-west of the Great Umayyad Mosque, it is to this day the object of popular veneration. His unification of Egypt and Syria resulted from the formation of a large and very well organised military force and it was at this point that he turned his attention to the Crusaders, leaving his heroic mark in Islamic history.
To this day, the memory of Salah al-Din is a vibrant symbol of Islamic heroism and many political leaders and foreign conquerors have visited his tomb in acknowledge- ment of his esteemed legacy. The key to the success of the Ayybuid Dynasty was that control remained with- in the hands of Ayyubid-family members.
Although a relatively brief reign lasting some 80 years in most parts of Syria a little longer in Hama , it was full of accomplishments. He managed to bring under his sovereignty several castles and towns of central Syria, such as Harim, Manbij, Najm and Apamea. His reign brought a period of peace and prosperity. Not coincidentally, in the same year, he signed the first trade agree- ment between the Ayyubids and the Venetians. Under the Ayyubids, the cities of Syria as well as those of Jordan and Palestine were all refortified. Once the caravans reached a city, they would find suqs markets selling an impressive range of goods: silk, perfume, jewellery, gold, spices, glass- ware, metalwork and ceramic vessels.
In the heart of the suq would be the great communal mosque, several smaller mosques, as wells as charitable institu- tions of scientific and religious education, all patronised by members of the ruling court. Madrasas in particular played an important role in shaping cultural and religious life as well as in the reconfigu- ration of the urban landscape of Islamic cities, notably for Ayyubid Damascus and Aleppo, but also for Mamluk Cairo, Seljuq Anatolia and Marinid Fez in Tunisia.
Supported by waqf, non-taxable endow- ments, such public institutions were charitable, as charity is an important foundation of Islamic cities.
Similar to a long-term lease on a revenue- producing property; its main purpose was to provide military commanders with a steady income in return for equipping and training a specified number of horsemen. Their religious and civic institutions revived the cities of Syria, making the capital Damascus a magnet for scholars from all across the Islamic lands. Literacy levels were high and patronage of scientific as well as artistic works flourished. Arabic culture blossomed in the Ayyubid cities and institutions; the Arabic language used not only for the dissemination of d.
Just as it was intended, so much urban development brought a change upon the population. Education, religion, trade and military training attracted all kinds of people to Syria. These travellers had access to the many caravan routes that criss-crossed the Syrian lands. They brought with them commercial activity as well as spiritual reverence. As noted by the al-Andalus pilgrim Ibn Jubayr d. Rum-Seljuqs, were substantially Arabised and Arabic culture, more than Kurdish heritage, formed the main conponant of their identity.
Their fearful reputation preceded them, causing the migration of whole communities west- ward in an attempt to escape their fury, as can be seen by the settlement of artisans from Afghanistan, in both Mosul and in Damascus. The Mongols, lead by Hulagu d. From Egypt came the definitive resistance to the Mongol onslaught, headed by the Mamluk Sultan Baybars, a former member of the Ayyubid private guard called mamluks.
The swift victories of the Mamluks against both the Mongols and the Franks heralded a new era of Islamic revival. This can be contrasted with the later phase of Islamic high culture, in which the Persian farsi and Turkish languages came to the fore. At this point, however, Arabic continued to be honoured and cultivated as the language of administration, scholarship and belles- lettres. Though the Ayyubids themselves were of Kurdish origin, the 25 Ayyubid rulers all had Arabic surnames, with the exception of Turan Shah the ruler of Yemen; they also spoke fluent Arabic.
Many were themselves poets, historians, scientists, judges and theologians. Thus the Ayyubids of Syria, unlike the later Mamluks or even their contemporary the 52 Historical Introduction Crac des Chevaliers: detail of the Mamluk inscriptions. If the Mamluk era is a period of great importance for the production of art and architecture in Egypt, and the same for the Ottoman era in Turkey, the Ayyubid period also has a particular place in the history Islamic architecture in Syria.
Ayyubid architecture it distinguished by its harmony, sobriety, logic and clarity. The introduction of new architectural forms and new decorative repertories into Syria saw the formation of public institutions such as the madrasas and bimaristans hospitals which bear Eastern- inspired architectural features, such as the muqarnas brick dome. The impact of Ayyubid patronage in- augurated a second era of Islamic art and architecture in Syria, more sober and militaristic in taste, quite unlike the formative years of Islamic art and archi- tecture. In general, decoration was minimal and the perfection of construc- tion based on mathematically harmonious dimensions, highly esteemed.
Many important masterpieces have survived from this period, leaving their mark on the history of Islamic art. Many of the monuments mentioned in this catalogue will therefore have names made of genitive titles, which usually end with the suffix -i, or in the case of the feminine, -iyya; thus, the bathhouses, Hammam al-Nuri and the Madrasa al-Nuriyya respectively are named after Nur al-Din.
Full text of "Cosmophilia : Islamic art from the David Collection, Copenhagen"
As for the building style, two prominent developments of this period are the use of the structural iwan and ornamental muqarnas. An iwan is a Persian word for a space enclosed by three walls, usually barrel- vaulted, with the open side usually over- looking a fountain, garden, or courtyard. It had been a ubiquitous architectural form in Iran and Iraq since before the rise Illustration of the muqarnas dome in the mausoleum of Madrasat Nur al-Din in Damascus. Rather than a discrete architectural form, muqarnas is in fact an ornamental mode — consisting of spherical sections, brackets and pendants — applied to various architectural forms such as cornices, capitals, vaults and domes.
Both have fully developed brick and plaster muqarnas domes in the Iraqi style; the hospital also has a muqarnas portal vault, the earliest in Islamic architecture. This demanding process resulted in precise, robust and rather curvilinear vaults, usually consisting of three rows of muqarnas cells capped by a scalloped dome. In Syrian domes, muqarnas was restricted to the transition zone, often resulting in a complete halo of two or three tiers. In view of its luxurious and mysterious effect, it seems likely that muqarnas vaulting was a mark of distinction and an indication of spiritual values.
In both Iraq and Iran, the four-iwans-in-axial- symmetry plan was the standard. There were some local adaptations to this form in Syria, seen particularly in madrasas colleges featuring one main iwan, a long prayer-hall and chambers on the second floor. Iwans offered a suitable meeting place for all kinds of activities, thanks to their enclosed and shaded, yet spacious and resonant, space.
The history of the subsequent few years will reveal the answer. One example is the Rasulid dynasty of Yemen whose family emblem was the five-petalled rosette, and who even commissioned metals from the Mamluk sultanate featuring the motif fig. Iconographic and literary analysis, for example, the Necati poem, shows that the rosette was a sun-symbol, and James Allan argues that it was likely the most popular sun-symbol in use during the early Mamluk period. The candleholder features suns and rosettes in roundels, and investigation shows that the rays of the sun symbols were once inlaid with gold, a color scheme that is only shared with the 35 Allan, Islamic Metalwork, Contemporary scholars have tended to ignore decisions about color made by artists and patrons, preferring instead empirical interpretations reliant on text and script.
It is built of red stone, unlike the stone used for the rest of the mosque, for that is white, and the stones of the minaret are decoratively carved. The minaret itself is of great height; the ball on top of it is of glistening white marble…38 For Ibn Battutah, the focus is color — not just its inherent aesthetic loveliness, but the role that it plays in distinguishing the monument and the reasons behind its careful selection.
Ibn Battutah pointedly remarks that the tower is distinctly separate from the adjacent white mosque not only by its elegant carving and decoration, but also by the brilliant red stone that composes it.
Distinctive color choices held complex associations in the medieval context, with red being the color of royalty, as Flood proves by tracing its 36 Ibid. Flood, Objects of Translation, Color was a significant factor in the context of the Delhi Sultanate, as the Qutb Minar example shows, and this opens up the likelihood that it played a similar role under the Mamluks. The artist constructs connections between the sun and the rosette in a highly intentional allegorical display. Just as Flood argues that the architects of the Qutub Minar emphasized architectural hierarchy with color, the metalworker of the candlestick may have used it to create similarities.
This use of the color gold to highlight and emphasize key elements of the composition lends further support to the suggestion that the rosettes should be seen as sun-symbols, an argument further proven with analysis of another candlestick, one that in this case was made for Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad fig. There, the artist shows a clear choice in aligning the obvious solar motif, the sun, with the more oblique one, the rosette, as a way that creates a dialogue between the two complimentary designs. The rosettes are inlaid with gold, and grow in size as they come closer to the area of the candle mount itself, a symbolic and deliberate design referencing light on an object intended to literally give out light.
The designer adorned the candlestick with solar, and therefore light emitting motifs that increase in size the closer they are to the actual source of light itself, placing the two largest sun-symbols, two gold rosettes within six-pointed stars, closest to the light. The importance of the Qalawunid dynasty in Cairo at this time, and the association of the rosette with the family likely led The Mamluks were a Turkic people ruling over a largely Arab population.
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As outsiders stuck with upholding an enervated caliphate and Muslim converts posing as defenders of Islam, they faced problems of legitimacy that were of less relevance for the Mongols. And yet, the Mamluks were participating in this shared Turko-Mongol culture though in a somewhat diluted form. Lovely though they were, they also delivered a message of cosmic sovereignty and control. This message challenges modern scholarly interpretations of Mamluk inscriptions as mere writing, permitting a more polyvalent reading of the active interaction between words and their design as carriers of meaning that go beyond the literal.
Geographically, the Mamluks were located at the center of an increasingly cosmopolitan region. In addition to his shifting relations with the Mongols, al-Nasir Muhammad also received the first papal envoy to Cairo since the time of Sultan al-Salih Ayyub With an expanding, privileged audience and increasing global political position, Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad used fine metals with rich inscriptions that resonated with astronomical and mystical beliefs to convey a monumental and cosmological vision of his role as an prototypical Islamic ruler to his subjects, allies, and rivals alike, securing the inner stability of his empire, while communicating his sovereignty globally.
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