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  • 7/27/2019 OLA183 Richter Bernburg















    Proceedings of the 14th and 15th International Colloquium organized at

    the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in

    May 2005 and May 2006

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    CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V

    PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VII


    Fourteenth Colloquium, May 19 & 20, 2005 . . . . . . . . IX

    Fifteenth Colloquium, May 17, 18 & 19, 2006 . . . . . . X

    ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIII


    1. M. BRETT, The Fifteenth Colloquium on the History of Egypt

    and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras . . . 1


    2. M. BRETT, The Ifriqiyan Sijill of al-Mustanir, 445/1053-4 93. J. DEN HEIJER, La rvolte de lmir Nair al-Dawla b. amdan

    contre le calife fatimide al-Mustanir billah (deuxime partie) 17

    4. S. LAOR-SIRAK, The Contribution of Armenian Architecture

    to the Origin of the Stone Muqarnas in Syria . . . . . . . . 27

    5. U. VERMEULEN, La lettre de Qayar Kisra dans une recen-

    sion fatimide du Sirat {Antar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

    Ayyubids (& Seljuqs)

    6. P.-V. CLAVERIE, Une source mconnue sur la bataille de La

    Mansourah:La chanson de Guillaume Longue-pe . . . . 49

    7. M. FRENKEL, Constructing the Sacred: Holy Shrines in Aleppo

    and its Environs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

    8. H. HANISCH, Zu zwei Problemen bei der Untersuchung der

    ayyubidischen Torbauten der Zitadelle von Damaskus . . . 79

    9. H. HANISCH, Armenische Bauweise im mittelalterlichen Wehr-

    bau in Syrien . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

    10. L. RICHTER-BERNBURG, Between Marvel and Trial: al-Harawi

    and Ibn Jubayr on Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

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  • 7/27/2019 OLA183 Richter Bernburg



    In an earlier essay, I examined purposely descriptive, non-poetic, rep-resentations of architecture in Arabic geographical texts from the third andfourth/ninth and tenth centuries;1 apart from the coincidence that this isthe period covered by the reference editions in Bibliotheca geographo-

    rum arabicorum, by its end human geography had consolidated into abody of knowledge which subsequently came to exert an often unques-tioned, quasi extra-historical authority.2 While thus on the one hand,human geography frequently turned into mere book learning or as it were,into armchair travel, on the other hand writing by actual travellers con-tinued, expanded and diversified. And in order not to oversimplify, notall authors fit such a neat dichotomy, viz. al-Sharif al-Idrisiand Yaqut each one in quite different ways. As for the authors perception of archi-tecture and its aesthetic potential, which will here again be the focus of

    inquiry, a certain change or at least a certain broadening, of perspectivemay also be detected after the turn of the fifth/eleventh century. Con-ceivably this resulted from a much more comprehensive consoli-dation of cultural self-awareness. Such religious or utilitarian reserva-tions against ambitious architecture as al-Muqaddasi in his youth stillvoiced vis--vis the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, to cite only one obvi-ous example, appear at least to have receded, if not disappearing alto-gether, in later geographical and travel literature.3 Some other motive

    1 In the eye of the beholder: the aesthetic (in)signifance of architecture in Arabicgeography, AH 250-400, The Arabist Budapest studies in Arabic, 26-27 (2003): 295-316; for general reference, cf. D. Behrens-Abouseif, Schnheit in der arabischen Kultur(Mnchen, 1998); here quoted from its trl. asBeauty in Arabic culture (Princeton, 1999),pp. 149-54, 165-80 (and notes). Our purpose here is far more modest than hers, based asit is on a narrowly circumscribed range of sources from a limited period.

    2 For the sake of convenience, reference may here be made again to Andr Miquelsgroundbreaking study: La gographie humaine du monde musulman jusquau milieu duXIe sicle [Civilisations et socits; volumes 7, 37, 68, 78] (Paris, etc., 1967, 1975, 1980,1988). Ifpace Miquel, periodization here is based on the turn rather than the middle ofthe fifth/eleventh century, it is for no other reason than Naer-e Khosrows (b. 394/1004)upbringing and education, or differently put, the formation of his sensibilities, antedating

    his journey (437-44/1045-52) by a few decades.3 As for a certain negatively accentuated lack of interest in the built environment in

    Muslim tradition, see the still thought-provoking study by Goldziher Igncz [Ignaz Gold-ziher], Az iszlm pitszeti emlkei, kapcsolatban a muhammedn vilgnzettel [Islamic

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    may also have contributed to an increased density in architecturaldescriptions, namely the respective writings function as, often devotional,guidebooks guidebooks at that which, with minimal exceptions, dis-pensed with graphic illustrations.4

    Such exceptions include an annotated map cum elevation of the Fri-day mosque in Jerusalem, i.e., the precinct later to be called al-aramal-Sharif, in al-Bakris compilation al-Masalik wa l-Mamalik5 and a fewrough sketches of the Alexandrian Pharos and other Egyptian monumentsin Tufat al-albab by Abu amid al-Gharnai.6

    On a more fundamental level, all the witnesses of potential import in

    the present context, such as Naer-e Khosrow, Abu amid al-Gharnai,Yusuf b. al-Shaykh al-Balawi, {Alial-Harawi, Ibn Jubayr, {Abd al-Laifal-Baghdadi, and Yaqut shared the long-established, common-placenotion of {aja}ib, mirabilia, which can with but little exaggeration becalled a constituent of medieval civilizations East and West;7 evidently,it had to be accounted for in my earlier study as well. In the period hereunder discussion roughly to the end of the Ayyubids8 noteworthy


    architectural monuments in relation to the Muhammadan worldview], in id., Az iszlm

    (Budapest, 1881), pp. 271-98 (for an abstract see B. Heller, Bibliographie des uvresde Ignace Goldziher [Publications de lcole nationale des langues orientales vivantes,vie srie, volume 1] (Paris, 1927), p. 33f; a debt of gratitude to Istvn Ormos for pointingout this reference is happily acknowledged!). An echo of the earlier pietist rejection ofgrand building is found in Yaqut. After quoting, with approval, a number of laudatoryevocations of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, he dutifully adduces a tradition whichtypically features {Umar b. {Abd al-{Aziz, the sunnite embodiment of the pious prince; herehe is said to have abstained from stripping the mosque of lavish appointments (and in theprocess replenishing the treasury) only after learning about the humiliating effect it hadon Byzantine envoys (Yaqut,Mu{jam al-buldan, ed. F. Wstenfeld, volumes I-VI (Leipzig,1866-1873), II: 595:3-14).

    4 cf., from quite a different, complementary rather than altogether contradictory per-

    spective, G. Calasso, Les tches du voyageur: dcrire, mesurer, compter, chez IbnJubayr, Naer-e Khosrow e Ibn Baua, RSO, 73 (1999): 69-104; even if with somereservations, mention has to be made also of two studies by I.R. Netton, Basic Struc-tures and Signs of Alienation in the Rila of Ibn Jubayr, JAL, 22 (1991): 21-37, andTouristAdab and Cairene Architecture: The Medieval Paradigm of Ibn Jubayr and IbnBauah, inLiterary heritage of classical Islam: Arabic and Islamic studies in honor ofJames A. Bellamy, eds. M. Mir & J.E. Possum (Princeton, NJ, 1993), pp. 275-84.

    5 Abu {Ubayd {Abdallah b. {Abd al-{Aziz al-Bakri, Kitab al-Masalik wa-l-mamalik,eds. A.P. van Leeuwen & A. Ferr, volumes I-II (Qaraj [Tunis], 1992), I: 472.

    6 Abu amid Muammad b. {Abd al-Raim al-Gharnai, Tufat al-albab, ed. G. Ferrand,JA, 207 (1925): 1-148, 193-304 and pls. I-VIII, esp. II-VI (=A. Ramos, Spanish trl. [FuentesArbico-Hispanas, volume 10] (Madrid, 1990), lminas II-III, betw. pp. 48-49).

    7 cf., e.g., M.B. Campbell, The Witness and the Other World Exotic European TravelWriting, 400-1600 (Ithaca - London, 1988).

    8 In the Mamluk period, a second stage of sedimentation of sources set in; compila-tion became a hallmark of prose writing, even if by gradual transition rather than rupture

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    architecture continued to be an instance of {ajaib; however, it wouldseem that the notion of wonder underwent a process of, even contra-dictory, differentiation. If a certain levelling was implied in extendingthe term to contemporaneous, or near contemporaneous monuments, suchlevelling could still signify, or even mask, a variety of tendencies depend-ing on the respective authors education and worldview. At one end ofthe spectrum, as with {Abd al-Laif al-Baghdadi, it might express a cer-tain naturalism, rejecting the notion of supernatural or superhuman agen-cies; at the other end, as with Ibn Jubayr, this very notion might havebeen broadened to subsume under it constructions such as the domed

    transept of the Damascus mosque, let alone ancient Egyptian or Graeco-Roman monuments. Yet again, an author such as al-Harawi mighthave ignored the question of human or superhuman agency alt