The Hunt

Garth Fowden

in Qusayr 'Amra

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236653
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929609 | DOI:
The Hunt

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Beyond the happy coincidence between the structure of the Arabic ode and the logical necessities of a scholarly investigation, there is also the patent fact that the preoccupations of Quṣayr 'Amra and the qaṣīda are identical. Poetry provides a key to understanding Quṣayr 'Amra. The Greeks and Romans too had assigned the hunt, together with bathing, a prominent place among mankind's favorite diversions. The beaters at Quṣayr 'Amra follow the stampede of the onagers with rapt attention, each clasping in an outstretched arm a burning torch. It is in its relatively unpretentious hunting scenes that Quṣayr 'Amra's patron becomes most clearly visible and is least indebted to the stereotypes of palace art. The painting on the west wall is a particularly careful depiction of a form of hunting that was intimately familiar to the artist. The women at the hunt are described in this chapter.

Keywords: hunt; Arabic ode; Quṣayr 'Amra; qaṣīda; bathing; palace art

Chapter.  11775 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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