The Minaret of Semnan

I heard of an old minaret, which I found before the police found me. We cannot say that Robert Byron visited the Friday Mosque of Semnan. It is more correct to say that he passed by and took a photo, at least as long as we trust what's written in his travelogue. Also, he does not … Continue reading The Minaret of Semnan

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#IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 3 | The Blue Room in Palermo (to sum up)

The last part of the 'episode' on the Blue Room in Palermo. After having narrated how it came to light, and what's in there, it is time now to provide my own interpretation. The least plausible explanation This is the main question: what is this room? According to the two mainstream interpretations, the room is: a. a … Continue reading #IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 3 | The Blue Room in Palermo (to sum up)

#IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 2 | The Blue Room in Palermo (reading its content)

The story of the finding  of the blue room is interesting, full of opinions and full of gaps. I am following its developments, as much as I can, since it started, in late 2013. Many interpretations have been proposed so far, but before providing an interpretation on my own, it is necessary to step back … Continue reading #IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 2 | The Blue Room in Palermo (reading its content)

#IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 1 | The Blue Room in Palermo (a story in three chapters)

A blue room with decorations clearly inspired by Islamic epigraphy is found in a private house in Palermo. Since its discovery, a carousel of authorities, scholars and onlookers have visited the house, and everyone seems to have something to say. Including myself. Chapter 1 - discovering a mosque Summer 2013. A young couple buys a … Continue reading #IslamicForgeries – Episode 2, part 1 | The Blue Room in Palermo (a story in three chapters)

Amulets, talismans, and Qur’anic inscriptions

In the last few months, two important museums have organized two distinct exhibitions dedicated to amulets and talismans in the Islamic world. The Metropolitan Museum's exhibition, Power and Piety: Islamic talismans on the battlefield, showcases a selection of arms and armor decorated with inscriptions and images believed to protect the warriors during battles. A second exhibition, titled … Continue reading Amulets, talismans, and Qur’anic inscriptions

The Dome of the Rock – its inscriptions and the religious relations in early Islamic Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock is probably the most studied Islamic monument. The architectural forms and features of the monuments and the inscriptions that decorate its walls have been studied and discussed thoroughly by scholars and academics, in many occasion creating a link between the Dome and other monuments. I also have written an article on … Continue reading The Dome of the Rock – its inscriptions and the religious relations in early Islamic Jerusalem