The Byzantine Empire And Islamic Civilization

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In this paper I will discuss the relationship between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic civilization. I will do this by giving you a brief history of both the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Caliph. Then I show you how the two cultures developed and influenced one another throughout their history. Let’s start with the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire tends to break it down into three stages. The time of the 3 AD - 8 AD is known as the Late Antique or Late Roman. The Middle Byzantine period begins around 565 AD after the death of the emperor Justinian; during this time around 610 AD we had the accession of the emperor Heraklios. Then in 717 AD we had the start of the Isaurian dynasty; and in 848 the end of Iconoclasm. It…show more content…
During the Umayyad Caliphate era 661 AD – 750 AD, as far as the Byzantine impact on early Islamic architecture is concerned, the Byzantine artistic heritage formed a fundamental source for the new Islamic art, especially in Syria and Palestine. There are considerable Byzantine influences which can be detected in the distinctive early Islamic monuments in Syria and Palestine, as on the Dome of the Rock 691 AD in Jerusalem, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. While the Dome of the Rock gives clear reference in plan - and partially in decoration - to Byzantine art, the plan of the Umayyad Mosque has also a remarkable similarity with 6th- and 7th-century Christian basilicas, but it has been modified and expanded on the transverse axis and not on the normal longitudinal axis as in the Christian basilicas. This modification serves better the liturgy for the Islamic prayer. The original mihrab of the mosque is located almost in the middle of the eastern part of the Qibla wall and not in its middle, a feature which can be explained by the fact that the architect might have tried to avoid the impression of a Christian apse which would result from the placement of the mihrab in the middle of the transept. The tile work, geometric patterns, multiple arches, domes, and poly-chrome brick and stone work that characterize Islamic and Moorish architecture were influenced to some extent by Byzantine
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