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The Dome Of The Rock As Palimpsest: ʿAbd Al-Malik’s Grand Narrative And Sultan Süleyman’s Glosses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter interprets the Dome of the Rock in light of its Ottoman glosses, and stresses its dialogical relationship with the narrative discourses of accompanying buildings in the ?master plan? conceptualized by ʿAbd al-Malik for the gigantic complex that came to be known as the Noble Sanctuary in Mamluk and Ottoman times. Since several publications have traced the construction history of the Haram across a broad sweep of time, the chapter concentrates on the Marwanid and Ottoman layers of its ?grand narrative,? without dwelling on a detailed architectural analysis of the buildings themselves. The chapter first presents the author?s personal exegesis on the elusive meanings of ʿAbd al-Malik?s Dome of the Rock, an arena of considerable debate with a longstanding venerable tradition of its own. It then discusses the relatively unexplored terrain of Sultan Süleyman?s interpretive glosses, overlaid on the building?s ?palimpsestous? surfaces.

Keywords: ʿAbd al-Malik; Dome of the Rock; grand narrative; Haram; Ottoman glosses; palimpsestous surfaces; Sultan Süleyman?s interpretive glosses



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