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Late Mamluk Patronage

Qansuh al-Ghuri's Waqfs and His Foundations in Cairo

by Khaled A. Alhamzah

Paperback eBook PDF

Publisher: Universal-Publishers
Pub date: 2009
Pages: 150
ISBN-10: 1599429225
ISBN-13: 9781599429229
Categories: HistoryArt & ArchitecturePhilosophy, & Theology


This book attempts to look at the structure and functions of the constituent elements of the Ghuriyya complex through the medium of contemporary sources --in particular its waqfiyya--and in doing so, the motives and attitudes of the patron, his goals and his ambitions are defined. In addition, the study seeks to place the monuments in broader context and examine them within the more extended social, economic, political, and cultural environment of al- Ghuri’s reign. This book will be of considerable interest to academics and students working on the history of art and architecture, history, culture and urbanism of the Middle East. Its subject is the expressive intent of Mamluk architecture, using new cultural and iconographical approaches. The book offers the first complete English translation of the main parts of Islamic Arabic waqf.

The Ghuriyya complex is of interest and significance because of its relatively good conservation; moreover, it constitutes one of the largest and finest late Mamluk royal foundations. The Waqfiyya of Ghuriyya foundations contains not only descriptions of specific monuments, but also stipulations defining, in the most precise detail, types of activities taking place within the confines of these monuments. The book shows how important the waqf documents are-- they are a valuable source for understanding Mamluk architecture. This work, illustrated by 25 fine-quality images, introduces new primary sources and provides new interpretations.

About the Author

Khaled A. Alhamzah, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Yarmouk University, Irbid-Jordan. He is editor-in-chief of Jordan Journal of the Arts and has authored two books as well as articles in academic and cultural publications.