240pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. This book is in as new condition.
There is perhaps no better place to observe how a living faith like Islam functions in its architectural setting than in the Great Mosque at Damascus. It is also the most appropriate place to begin a history of Islamic architecture since it was built in 715 and is the oldest congregational mosque in the Muslim world. Despite its antiquity, Richard Yeomans believes that the activity observed in the mosque today bears witness to an extraordinary continuity of worship and social behaviour reaching back nearly 1400 years to the Prophet Muhammad's own mosque in Medina.;Using a broad historical narrative to explain the religious, social and political influences that shape the Islamic architectural form, "The Story of Islamic Architecture" reveals an architectural splendour that despite its diversity has coherence and continuity. Beginning with a brief description of the Muslim faith, the introductory chapters of this book illustrate how religious attitudes determine the form and function of Islamic art and architecture. The book then considers the genesis of a distinctly Islamic architecture from the first monuments when the Umayyad Caliphate, bringing with it political and mercantile acumen but scarce architectural knowledge, was totally dependent on the art, craft and building skills of the indigenous population in the countries it had conquered. These early monuments illustrate how the story of Islamic architecture is one of continuing adaptation, change and innovation in response to the complex cultural and racial diversity which constitutes the Muslim nation. The book then charts the gradual evolution and eventual emergence of a distinctive Arab identity in ninth-century Iraq, Tunisia and Egypt.;Interweaving historical fact with precisely detailed descriptions of the monuments, Richard Yeomans studies chronologically the development and flowering of Islamic architecture in the various Muslim regions of the world including Spain, the Maghreb, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Persia and Central Asia, ending at the farthest point east in India.