This book is the first systematic collection and discussion of dwellings in the Umayyad ‘cities’ (madāʾin) and ‘palaces’ (quṣūr) of Bilād al-Shām. Giuseppe Labisi offers an overview of the apartments within and identifies the architectural models that inspired Umayyad dwellings. This study also allows the precise identification of the origin of pre-Islamic dwelling models and their reinterpretation in Umayyad domestic architecture. Through classification, the author has been able to group the apartments of quṣūr chronologically by the reigns of the Umayyad caliphs. The identification of the dictates of Islamic domestic tradition and the characteristics of early Islamic Arabia and Late Antique houses offer original insight and allow us to situate the Umayyad residences of Bilād al-Shām in their wider cultural context. Additionally, Umayyad dwellings have been classified and presented in a rich catalogue as an appendix within the text.
Giuseppe Labisi is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Konstanz. He earned his joint PhD in Islamic Archaeology from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and the University of Paris 1 ‘Panthéon-Sorbonne’ in 2017. His research interests include Islamic archaeology and architecture, Medieval topography, and Late Antique - early Islamic transitions.
‘This is an interesting and important piece of work providing a large amount of data some of which is otherwise very hard to find. The analysis of the buildings is very detailed and provides the first systematic attempt to understand how the Umayyad rulers arranged the residential areas of their palaces. The bibliography is excellent and provides the most comprehensive information on Umayyad architecture.’ Professor Andrew Petersen, University of Wales Trinity St David