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…

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…

The Nilometer and the deliberate choice of Qur’anic texts

The Nilometer proves to be important in two ways: on the one hand it is technologically interesting, being an instrument built for the measurements of the Nile. On the epigraphic point of view, it is one of the rare monuments about which we have an historical account clearly stating how the Qur’anic inscriptions in it…

The Dome of the Rock – reading its iconographic project

The Dome of the Rock was built in 72 a.h. (691-2 A.D.) and, besides being the most ancient Islamic building survived till our days, it is, most probably, the first monument to have been built by the new rulers of the Near East. Its building followed a highly uneasy period: during the ten years that…

Must read for studying Islamic epigraphy (open access…of course)

When dealing with inscriptions some sources need to be read… an epigraphist, an amateur, a curious, in fact everyone interested in any level in the study of Islamic epigraphy should read some books, just as someone who likes English literature need to read Shakespeare. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides us with sources otherwise available…

The importance of being Qur’anic

Why is it important to read and study Qur’anic inscriptions on monuments? And what are the problems and the futher developments of this field of research?