Chapter

A Captive Sasanian Princess

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/9780520236653.003.0008
A Captive Sasanian Princess

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The Quṣayr 'Amra bathing beauty panel was placed right next to the six kings. It now more or less obliges us to suppose that the Umayyads deployed a similar plan in one or more of their grander baths. The Sasanians set an example the Umayyads followed, perhaps in part because the later Sasanian kings' model of perfect beauty had been none other than an Arab girl. Quṣayr 'Amra offers valuable confirmation and illustration of tastes which are also abundantly attested in classical Arabic literature, though the fact that most of these texts reached their present form under the Abbasids often undermines one's confidence in their authenticity as sources for the Umayyad period. It would not have been surprising had Shāh-i Āfrīd's appearance on the wall at Quṣayr 'Amra evoked stories about other princesses too.

Keywords: Sasanian princess; bathing beauty; Sasanian kings; Quṣayr 'Amra; Umayyads; Abbasids

Chapter.  8639 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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