This article focuses on the built spaces, often described as mosques, of two Muslim communities in Constantinople between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. These Islamic spaces in the Byzantine capital originated pragmatic solutions to the functional requirements of accommodating Muslim prisoners and merchants. During this period one of these built spaces acquired political status as “the mosque of Constantinople” in diplomatic negotiations, serving as a counterpart to Christian monuments in Islamic territories. By the end of the twelfth century the Muslim spaces of Constantinople had acquired social, economic and religious significance for an international Muslim community, becoming in effect Islamic monuments. The “mosques” of Constantinople thus illuminate a role for architecture within Byzantine-Islamic diplomatic exchange, and a process of medieval monument formation, based not on intrinsic artistic interest, but on meanings acquired through social processes.
Revisiting al-Andalus brings together a range of recent scholarship on the material culture of Islamic Iberia, highlighting especially the new directions that have developed in the Anglo-American branch of this field since the 1992 catalogue of the influential exhibition, Al-Andalus: the Art of Islamic Spain. Together with examples of recent Spanish scholarship on medieval architecture and urbanism, the volume’s contributors (historians of art and architecture, archaeologists, and architects) explore topics such as the relationship between Andalusi literature and art; architecture, urbanism, and court culture; domestic architecture; archaeology as a tool for analyzing economic and architectural history; cultural transfer between the Iberian Peninsula and the New World; 19th-century “rediscovery” of al-Andalus; and modern architectural and historiographical attempts to construct an Andalusi cultural identity.
Contributors include: Antonio Almagro, Glaire D. Anderson, Rebecca Bridgman, María Judith Feliciano, Kathryn Ferry, Pedro Jiménez, Julio Navarro, Camila Mileto, Antonio Orihuela, Jennifer Roberson, Cynthia Robinson, Mariam Rosser-Owen, Antonio Vallejo Triano, and Fernando Vegas.