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Builders, Patrons, and Identity: The Domed Basilicas of Sicily and Calabria
Charles E. Nicklies
Vol. 43, No. 2 (2004), pp. 99-114
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25067098
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Religious buildings, Architecture, Mosques, Muslims, Islamic architecture, Churches, Cupolas, Orthodox Church, Brick buildings, Architectural control
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In an effort to place the architecture of the Norman south more fully within its contextual relationship to the Islamic world, this article analyzes seven domed basilicas located in the Valdemone in eastern Sicily and in Calabria. All these churches, which were constructed between 1091 and 1130, demonstrate a particular debt to the Muslim architecture of North Africa and Egypt in their planning, detailing, and, in certain instances, symbolic content. Although appropriations from Islamic traditions were likely due to the initiative of the builders, the Norman patrons would have approved of-if not openly promoted-the idea of cultural symbiosis conveyed in these churches. Indeed, the buildings may represent an early manifestation of the concept that the de Hauteville rulers had successfully unified the Muslim, Byzantine, and Italian populations living in the Norman territories, an idea that later received more explicit and fuller promotion during the monarchy of Roger II.
Gesta © 2004 The University of Chicago Press