Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Lost Maps of the CaliphsDrawing the World in Eleventh-Century Cairo$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Yossef Rapoport and Emilie Savage-Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226540887

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226553405.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2020

Ports, Gates, Palaces

Ports, Gates, Palaces

Drawing Fatimid Power on the Island-City Maps

Chapter:
(p.154) (p.155) Chapter Six Ports, Gates, Palaces
Source:
Lost Maps of the Caliphs
Author(s):

Yossef Rapoport

Emilie Savage-Smith

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226553405.003.0006

This chapter discusses the representation of urban spaces and political power in the maps of the island of Sicily, the port cities of Mahdia in modern Tunisia and Tinnis in the Nile Delta. The three maps depict Mediterranean ports under Fatimid control, and share the same visual language. The visual representations of these cities focus exclusively on the walls and gates of the cities, the defences of the ports and the fortified palatial complexes, at the expense of all other urban institutions. The aim in all three maps is to convey the impregnability of the fortifications. Although these maps are appended to textual descriptions, they stand independent of them, and add or omit data in order to achieve their desired visual effect. Together, they form the earliest set of city plans to have survived from medieval Islam. In comparison with the vivid images of urban agglomerations in late antique mosaic maps of Madaba, the city maps of the Book of Curiosities show instead empty spaces, with an emphasis on the military and political at the expense of the civic and the religious.

Keywords:   Mediterranean, Sicily, Mahdia, Tinnis, city plans, ports, Madaba, Fatimid Empire, fortifications

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.