The Towers of Victory, the function of the minaret, and a new script

commemorative rather than religious One post is not enough to talk about the Towers of Victory, that Byron visited on the 15th of June 1934, while in Ghazni. The Towers of Victory are two free-standing minarets, and possibly, their function cannot be ascribed to religion, as Byron writes in his travelogue: “The famous ‘Towers of…

Off-topic: an Italian spin-off

I am Italian born and bred, as many of you may know. I have started this blog 4 years ago, in 2014, and since then, everything I have written, both here and on Twitter, have been written in English (with a lot of mistakes, no doubt). I started this blog in English for a couple…

Who knows Khoja Aghacha?

Who St Agacha was I don’t know. After paying a visit to the Shrine of Khoja Abu Nasr Parsa, on the 30th of May 1934, Byron continues his visit of Balkh and goes to a small shrine, the Shrine of Khoja Aghacha, that dates back to late 15th century. Byron is not impressed, not at…

Byron and the Shrine of Khoja Abu Nasr Parsa

An unknown force seems to be squeezing it upwards. It is the 30th of May 1934 when Byron writes in his travelogue that he is in Balkh, where he spent the whole day. In this entry, Byron also describes a monument: the Shrine of a spiritual leader, that died in 1460 c.e.: Khoja Abu Nasr Parsa….

No image available: imagining Termez

All the same, I should like to have seen the ruins of Termez Byron’s plan was to cross the Oxus river. The river, known by the Latin name Oxus, is also called the Amu Darya and is one of the major rivers of Central Asia. Byron has thus far traveled around Afghanistan and Iran, keeping…

The dream of the Rowze-i Sharif

[it] owes its existence to a dream On the 27th of May 1934 Byron visits and describes the Mausoleum of Hazrat Ali (most commonly called Rowze-i Sharif) in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, and two smaller mausoleums next to it. THE LEGEND The passage Byron dedicates to the Mausoleum opens with a historical account of how it was…

A brief visit to the Masjid-i Mawlana of Tayabad

which had a beautiful stucco inscription backed by turquoise glaze In the entry dated 12th May 1934, Byron records that the previous day, thus on the 11th of May 1934, he visited the Mawlana at Taybad. His visit seems quite brief: he was in a hurry since a storm was coming that could stop him…

The Square Kufic of the Pir-i Bakran Shrine

After years running this blog, I realized I have not devoted even one single article to a Square Kufic inscription. Which sounds weird, considering the name of this blog. In any case, the time has come. A reader, JJ (I don’t know the full name, thus, let’s call him/her JJ), sent me a couple of…

Arslan Jadhib Mausoleum and Minaret

a rainy sky made us push on On the 8th of May 1934, on his way to Kariz, wanted to stop at Sang Bast, to visit a monument there: a mausoleum and its minaret. From his travelogue, we know that he did not manage: “We meant to stop at Sengbest to examine an eleventh-century mausoleum…