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The Byzantine Heritage In The Dār Al-Islām: Churches And Mosques In Al-Ruha Between The Sixth And Twelfth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

In the study of the formation of early Islamic art and architecture, the presence and role of late antique Christian religious buildings are elements still largely overlooked. Recent discoveries, have revealed the existence of churches and the foundation of new ones falling chronologically far beyond the traditional boundary of the Islamic conquest. Starting with the city of Urfa (known as Edessa and al-Ruha in ancient times), this chapter examines the presence and role of late antique churches in the urban context of the medieval Dār al-Islām. In particular, it attempts to clarify the connection between these churches and the mosques in the cities under investigation. In exploring medieval Islamic Urfa, the chapter integrates Christian art and architecture into the discussion, showing how this approach might shed new light on the general analysis of early Islamic societies and on the specific subject of the formation of Islamic art.

Keywords: Al-Ruha; Christian art; Dar al-Islam; early Islamic art; late antique Christian religious buildings; medieval Islamic Urfa



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