Lecture 3. Umayyad Architecture in Syria

This lecture presents early Islamic, or Umayyad, Architecture and its relationship to Late Antiquity. It examines the sequence of well-known Umayyad monuments, which appear to have engaged in a vibrant referencing process that treated Antiquity as a heritage to appropriate, build upon, or, sometimes, to deconstruct.  In that it did not differ much from Latin Europe and Byzantium, both of which looked to the classical heritage as theirs through the lens of Christianity. Byzantium in particular continued the imperial tradition of Antiquity, with which the Umayyad actively competed in the architecture they built in the own realm, especially in Greater Syria. This competition allows us to understand the patterns of appropriation, modification, transposition, scaling, and distortion of post-classical elements in Umayyad architecture as a conscious process to chart a new, or, perhaps more accurately, a post Post-Classical architecture. 

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Lecture Notes