ʿALA AL-DIN KAYQUBAD ILLUMINATED: A RUM SELJUQ SULTAN AS COSMIC RULER

in Muqarnas Online
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Through its evaluation of a number of artifacts associated with the Anatolian Seljuq ruler ‘Ala al-Din Kayqubad (r. 1220–37), this paper argues that the sultan was a product of his times and geography, situated between “East” and “West.” Iconographic and artistic features that at first appear unusual actually fit into popular international royal themes from the Holy Roman Empire to the Artuqid court. Thus, in addition to Roman imperial (“Western”) links, Kayqubad’s sources of inspiration included models with Perso-Islamic impulses from the “East.” Most significantly, by linking a certain set of archaicizing Artuqid coins that appear “classical” to a certain shaykh known as the “Master of Illumination” (Shaykh al-ishraq) Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi (d. 1191), active in Anatolia and the Jazira at the time, some of these forms acquire new meaning as cosmological symbols and representations of royal grandeur with overtones of celestial symbolism. For Kayqubad, the undercurrent of this mystical dimension of divine kingship, however—especially in the aftermath of 1204 with Byzantium in exile—was the competition for the heritage of “Rum,” i.e., Rome, as Anatolia was known in the Islamic world.

ʿALA AL-DIN KAYQUBAD ILLUMINATED: A RUM SELJUQ SULTAN AS COSMIC RULER

in Muqarnas Online

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