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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Part II

The ‘royal city’ is an ancient expression of political power and authority, with origins in the Ancient Near East. This paper examines the relationship between the city and power in the Islamic world from the origins of Islam down to the Ottoman era. Archaeology and architectural history are emphasised as sources for the ‘Islamic city’, alongside relevant texts from the period. How far, and in what ways, Islamic urban political cultures are distinctive, and how and why they varied in the diverse societies of the Mediterranean and the Middle East during the 1,000 years between the Prophet Muhammad and Murad IV are all questions that will be explored through the paper.