During the Ancient and the Middle Ages three attempts to build up empires on a global scale take place: the Roman and Chinese Empires and the Islamic Caliphate. However, after an early rapid expansion, Roman and Chinese Empires were forced to recognise the existence of an outer unconquerable world; from that time on they tried to establish some boundary between their wholly and evenly civilised world and the “barbarians” territories. So, the roman vallum and the Great Wall of China became at the same time a limit to imperial ambitions. On the contrary, the Arabs never tried to elevate around themselves insuperable barriers, probably because of their nomadic instinct and their great inclination to trade. Moreover, the Caliphate soon broke down into a series of independent emirates, sultanates and caliphates ruled by local dynasties, generally very proud of their ethnical identity. Consequently cultural unification did not go beyond the religious sphere. So, in the Islamic world, the triad “local-identity-landscape” did not lose its importance with respect to “global-belongings-architecture” (as indeed it did happen in the Roman Empire). This state of things began to change towards the end of the Middle Ages, owing also to the even increasing importance of trade; “globalisation” phenomena affected especially Syrian-Iraqi areas because of their crucial position at the crossing of trade routes from Genoa, Venetia and the Far East. However, architectural works belonging to the former period are still present in Syria, and the University of Parma has been entrusted with the surveying of one of the best example among them: the Citadel of Damascus.

La Cittadella di Damasco: da identità "locale" a struttura "globale" / A. Zerbi. - (2009), pp. 837-840. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Sesto Forum Internazionale di Studi Le Vie dei Mercanti. Cielo dalMediterraneo all'Oriente tenutosi a Caserta, Capri nel 5-7 giugno 2008.

La Cittadella di Damasco: da identità "locale" a struttura "globale"

ZERBI, Andrea
2009

Abstract

During the Ancient and the Middle Ages three attempts to build up empires on a global scale take place: the Roman and Chinese Empires and the Islamic Caliphate. However, after an early rapid expansion, Roman and Chinese Empires were forced to recognise the existence of an outer unconquerable world; from that time on they tried to establish some boundary between their wholly and evenly civilised world and the “barbarians” territories. So, the roman vallum and the Great Wall of China became at the same time a limit to imperial ambitions. On the contrary, the Arabs never tried to elevate around themselves insuperable barriers, probably because of their nomadic instinct and their great inclination to trade. Moreover, the Caliphate soon broke down into a series of independent emirates, sultanates and caliphates ruled by local dynasties, generally very proud of their ethnical identity. Consequently cultural unification did not go beyond the religious sphere. So, in the Islamic world, the triad “local-identity-landscape” did not lose its importance with respect to “global-belongings-architecture” (as indeed it did happen in the Roman Empire). This state of things began to change towards the end of the Middle Ages, owing also to the even increasing importance of trade; “globalisation” phenomena affected especially Syrian-Iraqi areas because of their crucial position at the crossing of trade routes from Genoa, Venetia and the Far East. However, architectural works belonging to the former period are still present in Syria, and the University of Parma has been entrusted with the surveying of one of the best example among them: the Citadel of Damascus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2479437
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