"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

There Be Dragons

Brill has just brought out a unique iconographic study written by Sara Kuehn: The Dragon in Medieval East Christian and Islamic Art (Islamic History and Civilization) (Brill, 2011), xiv+300pp. 

While the price is steep (as most of Brill's books are, alas), it would seem justified, in part, by the fact that the book has some 200 illustrations in both color and black and white.

The publisher further tells us about this book that it is
a pioneering work on a key iconographic motif, that of the dragon. It examines the perception of this complex, multifaceted motif within the overall intellectual and visual universe of the medieval Irano-Turkish world. Using a broadly comparative approach, the author explores the ever-shifting semantics of the dragon motif as it emerges in neighbouring Muslim and non-Muslim cultures. The book will be of particular interest to those concerned with the relationship between the pre-Islamic, Islamic and Eastern Christian (especially Armenian) world.
The study is fully illustrated, with 209 (b/w and full colour) plates, many of previously unpublished material. Illustrations include photographs of architectural structures visited by the author, as well as a vast collection of artefacts, all of which are described and discussed in detail with inscription readings, historical data and textual sources.

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