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The Institutionalisation of ‘Abbāsid Ceremonial

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the antecedents to ʿAbbāsid ceremonial, including the initial tensions of the emerging Muslim community vis à vis ceremonials. It also discusses the Palace as the exclusive stage for court ceremonial. The chapter analyzes the gradual institutionalisation of ʿAbbāsid ceremonial, making frequent references to the Byzantine ceremonial for comparative purposes, bearing in mind that awareness of similarities and analogies between patterns of behaviour can clarify not only what was shared by the two cultures and the ground that they had in common, but, conversely, illuminate what was peculiar to them as well as the respective processes of institutionalization. The main text that deals extensively with ʿAbbāsid court ceremonials, Rusūm dār al-khilāfa, belongs to this genre of writings. This fifth/eleventh-century text relates the rules and regulations of the ʿAbbāsid court.

Keywords: ʿAbbāsid ceremonial; Abbasid court ceremonials; antecedents; Byzantine ceremonial; institutionalization; Muslim community; Rusūm dār al-khilāfa



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