Writing as Talisman in Medieval Islamic Art

Professor Scott Redford
Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Around the year 1000, rounded scripts started to replace angular scripts in Islamic art and architecture. Scholarship on this transformation of Islamic art and epigraphy has focused on the replacement of one by the other, whilst the change is more of a displacement than a replacement, with cursive, rounded hands coexisting with angular scripts in a new symbiosis. This lecture explores this phenomenon, especially as expressed on architectural facades of the time.

Scott Redford is Nasser D. Khalili Professor of Islamic Art & Archaeology at SOAS, University of London. He specialises in the art, archaeology, architecture, and epigraphy of Anatolia and the eastern Mediterranean in the medieval (11-14th) centuries. He has just completed (as editor and contributor) a volume of essays on the history and architecture of the Euphrates side fortified site of Rumkale/Qal'at al-Rum/Hromkla which is scheduled to appear in 2021.

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