The Seljuqs and their Successors

Art, Culture and History

Edited by Sheila Canby, Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi

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Renowned scholars present key new thinking on art, sciences, belief and history in the Seljuq period
  • Draws on new and updated use of historical sources
  • Opens new paths in the research on magic beliefs, religion, astronomy, the concept of craftsmanship versus artistry, interaction between rulers and elites, ethno-religious and ethno-cultural diversity and emigration of people
  • Case studies on the treatment of art objects (the oldest extant Shahnama, and a unique stucco panel) show innovations in conservation practices and set new strategies in dealing with restored objects
  • Includes a comprehensive comparison of Seljuq and Ghaznavid titulature: a key tool for any kingship-related research in the fields of history, epigraphy, archaeology and art history

Rising from nomadic origins as Turkish tribesmen, the powerful and culturally prolific Seljuqs and their successor states dominated vast lands extending from Central Asia to the eastern Mediterranean from the eleventh to the fourteenth century.

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Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1: Editors' Introduction Sheila Canby, Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi

Chapter 2: What is special about Seljuq history? Carole Hillenbrand

Chapter 3: Seljuq art: an overview, Robert Hillenbrand

Part II: Rulers and Cities

Chapter 4: Rum Seljuq Caravanserais: Urbs in Rure, Scott Redford

Part III: Faith, Religion and Architecture

Chapter 5: The Religious History of the Great Seljūq Period , Deborah Tor

Chapter 6: Domes in the Seljuq Architecture of Iran, Lorenz Korn

Chapter 7: The Politics of Patronage in Medieval Mosul: Nur al-Din, Badr al-Din, and the Question of the Sunni Revival, Yasser Tabbaa

Part IV: Identities: Rulers and Populace

Chapter 8: Ghaznavid, Qarakhanid and Seljuq monumental inscriptions and the development of royal propaganda: towards an epigraphic corpus, Roberta Giunta & Viola Allegranzi

Chapter 9: Inscribed Identities: Some Monumental Inscriptions in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus, Patricia Blessing

Chapter 10: Grasping the Magnitude: Saljuq Rum between Byzantium and Persia, Rustam Shukurov

Part V: Magic and the Cosmos

Chapter 11: A Seljuq occult manuscript and its world: MS Paris persan 174, Andrew Peacock

Chapter 12: Al-Khāzinī’s Astronomy Under the Seljuqs: Inferential Observations (iʽtibār), Calendars and Instruments, George Saliba

Part VI: Objects and Material Culture

Chapter 13: Casting Shadows, Margaret Graves

Chapter 14: What’s in a Name? Signature, Maker’s Mark or Keeping Count: On Craft Practice at Rayy, Renata Holod

Chapter 15: Collaborative Investigations of a Monumental Seljuq Stucco Panel, Leslee Michelsen & Stefan Masarovic

Chapter 16: The Florence Shāhnāma between History and Science, Alessandro Sidoti & Mario Vitalone

A turning point in Islamic history and art history, the Seljuk age is still relatively understudied. In this substantive volume, Canby et al. gather together some of the best scholars in the field to present an integrated collection covering the history, polity, court ethos, architecture, and material culture of the Seljuks. Taken together, these essays enrich our understanding of the Seljuks and contextualize their legacy in relation to its wider Islamic setting and the trajectories of their various successor states.
Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, MIT
Sheila R. Canby is Curator Emerita of the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is co-author with Deniz Beyazit and Martina Rugiadi of Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2016), co-editor with Maryam Ekhtiar, Navina Najat Haidar, and Priscilla Soucek of Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011) and author of The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011 and 2014), Shah `Abbas: the Remaking of Iran, British Museum Press (2009), Shah `Abbas and the Treasures of Imperial Iran, British Museum Press (2009), Islamic Art in Detail, British Museum Press (2005), Persian Love Poetry, with Vesta Curtis, British Museum Press (2005), among numerous other books.

Deniz Beyazit is Associate Curator in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is co-author with Sheila Canby and Martina Rugiadi of Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2016). Her other publications include Le décor architectural des Artuqides de Mardin (2016), and as editor, At the Crossroads of Empires: 14th–15th Century Eastern Anatolia (2012).

Martina Rugiadi is Associated Curator in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and and co-director of the Towns of Karakum Archaeological Project. She is co-author with Sheila Canby and Deniz Beyazit of Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2016).

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