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Sacred Topography In Medieval Syria And Its Roots Between The Umayyads And Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

The Umayyad period is the first great formative period in the Bilād al-Shām after the Muslim conquest. Under this dynasty the relations between the different religious and social elements took on a shape which would last for centuries. These relations became particularly clear as buildings for Muslim worship spread across the landscapes of both new settlements and ancient cities. This chapter analyzes the phenomenon by comparing the cities of Aleppo, Edessa and, partially, al-Rusafa. It involves not only sketching out a chronology of the &t;islamisation&t; of a certain territory, but also consideration of the salient features of the Umayyad cultural system, the modalities of their formation, and their final disappearance. However few marks this system may have left, it has not only influenced almost five hundered years of Middle Eastern history, but also rooted an indissolubly medieval society in the bedrock of Late Antiquity.

Keywords: islamisation; Late Antiquity; Muslim worship; Umayyad cultural system



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