Islamic Gardens and Landscapes

ISBN-10: 0812240251
ISBN-13: 9780812240252
Edition: 2008
List price: $49.95 Buy it from $32.72
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Description: "In the course of my research," writes D. Fairchild Ruggles, "I devoured Arabic agricultural manuals from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries. I love gardening, and in these texts I was able to enter the minds of agriculturalists and  More...

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Book details

List price: $49.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 1/16/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 296
Size: 7.75" wide x 10.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.398
Language: English

"In the course of my research," writes D. Fairchild Ruggles, "I devoured Arabic agricultural manuals from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries. I love gardening, and in these texts I was able to enter the minds of agriculturalists and botanists of a thousand years ago who likewise believed it was important and interesting to record all the known ways of propagating olive trees, the various uses of rosemary, and how best to fertilize a garden bed." Western admirers have long seen the Islamic garden as an earthly reflection of the paradise said to await the faithful. However, such simplification, Ruggles contends, denies the sophistication and diversity of the art form. Islamic Gardens and Landscapes immerses the reader in the world of the architects of the great gardens of the Islamic world, from medieval Morocco to contemporary India. Just as Islamic culture is historically dense, sophisticated, and complex, so too is the history of its built landscapes. Islamic gardens began from the practical need to organize the surrounding space of human civilization, tame nature, enhance the earth's yield, and create a legible map on which to distribute natural resources. Ruggles follows the evolution of these early farming efforts to their aristocratic apex in famous formal gardens of the Alhambra in Spain and the Taj Mahal in Agra. Whether in a humble city home or a royal courtyard, the garden will have several defining characteristics, which Ruggles enumerates. Most notable is an enclosed space divided into four equal parts surrounding a central design element. The traditional Islamic garden will be inwardly focused, usually surrounded by buildings or in the form of a courtyard. Water provides a counterpoint to the portioned green sections. Ranging across poetry, court documents, agronomy manuals, and early garden representations, and richly illustrated with pictures and site plans, Islamic Gardens and Landscapes is a book of impressive scope sure to interest scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Preface
The Islamic Landscape
Place and Memory
Making the Desert Bloom
Transforming an Inhospitable Earth
The Science of Gardening
Agricultural and Botanical Manuals
Organizing the Earth
Cross-axial Gardens and the Chahar Bagh
Trees and Plants
Botanical Evidence from Texts and Archaeology
Representations of Gardens and Landscape
Imagery in Manuscript Paintings, Textiles, and Other Media
Imaginary Gardens
Gardens in Fantasy and Literature
The Garden as Paradise
The Historical Beginnings of Paradisiac Iconography
The Here and Hereafter
Mausolea and Tomb Gardens
A Garden in Landscape
The Taj Mahal and Its Precursors
Religion and Culture
The Adoption of Islamic Garden Culture by Non-Muslims
List of Gardens and Sites
Spain
Sicily
Morocco
Algeria
Tunisia
Egypt
Turkey
Syria and Region
Oman
Iraq
Iran
Central Asia
Pakistan
India
United States
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

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