Quantcast
Search for a Met publication (from 1964)
Publication type


Thematic category


Collection / Department


Format
Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs
Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock (2016)
This title is in print.
Description

Rising from humble origins as Turkish tribesmen, the powerful and culturally prolific Seljuqs—an empire whose reach extended from Central Asia to the eastern Mediterranean—dominated the Islamic world from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs examines the roots and impact of this formidable dynasty, featuring some 250 objects as evidence of the artistic and cultural flowering that occurred under Seljuq rule.

Beginning with an historical overview of the empire, from its early advances into Iran and northern Iraq to the spread of its dominion into Anatolia and northern Syria, Court and Cosmos illuminates the splendor of Seljuq court life. This aura of luxury extended to a sophisticated new elite, as both sultans and city dwellers acquired dazzling glazed ceramics and metalwork lavishly inlaid with silver, copper, and gold. Advances in science and technology found parallels in a flourishing interest in the arts of the book, underscoring the importance the Seljuqs placed on the scholarly and literary life. At the same time, the unrest that accompanied warfare between the Seljuqs and their enemies as well as natural disasters and unexplainable celestial phenomena led people to seek solace in magic and astrology, which found expression in objects adorned with zodiacal and talismanic imagery. These popular beliefs existed alongside devout adherence to Islam, as exemplified by exquisitely calligraphed Qur’ans and an array of building inscriptions and tombstones bearing verses from the holy book.

The great age of the Seljuqs was one that celebrated magnificence, be it of this world or in the celestial realm. By revealing the full breadth of their artistic achievement, Court and Cosmos provides an invaluable record of the Seljuqs’ contribution to the cultural heritage of the Islamic world.

Table of contents
About the authors
Tags

The Metropolitan Museum of Art LogoEmail

Type the CAPTCHA word: