Chapter

“O God, Bless the <i>Amīr</i>”

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236653.003.0004
“O God, Bless the Amīr”

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Whilst Imru' al-Qays died in a robe woven of gold and soaked in poison, a gift from the emperor of Rome, Quṣayr 'Amra's prince flaunted finery neither borrowed nor bestowed, but his by conqueror's right. The portrait of the prince seems to be of eclectic inspiration, combining a distinctly Roman-style architectural frame with avian supporters from the Roman East and an avian procession that is more Sasanian in manner. The close relationship between the prince and God is also impressed by the Arabic text, white Kufic letters carefully and elegantly painted on a blue ground that runs along the face of the arch above his head. The title amīr was commonly employed to designate the heir apparent. As at Ḥawīrtah, Adam is seated on a backless throne and rests his feet upon a footstool. Quṣayr 'Amra alcove is clearly, in the earlier sense of the word, a miṭrāb.

Keywords: amīr; Quṣayr 'Amra; God; prince; Rome; Adam; Ḥawīrtah; miṭrāb

Chapter.  10244 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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