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An Early Seventeenth-Century Palace Complex (Dawlatkhāna) In Balkh

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Chapter Summary

For the historian of architecture, the relatively small number of surviving examples makes generalization about the typology of palaces difficult. Nonetheless, efforts have been made to provide a typology of palaces that is useful for comparative purposes and for placing individual cases, such as the Balkh dawlatkhāna, in a wider context. In a recent work, Sussan Babaie proposes four palace types: 1) the semi-public palace complex with congregational mosque, 2) the isolated absolutist and imperial private palace complex, 3) the urban citadel palace, and 4) the suburban garden palace. To some degree, the Balkh dawlatkhāna described in the early seventeenth century text Bar al-asrār fi manāqib al-akhyār does not fit precisely into any one of these categories but shares characteristics of all but the third.

Keywords: Balkh dawlatkhāna; early seventeenth century palace



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