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Robes of Honor in ‘Abbasid Baghdad During the Eighth to Eleventh Centuries

  • Dominique Sourdel
Chapter
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

Granting a costume that we usually call a “robe of honor” (in Arabic khil’a)1 to certain persons whom one wishes to distinguish has been practiced in the Orient since ancient times. In the countries of Islam, it appeared only in the eighth/second century and seems to have become widespread during the ninth through eleventh / third through fifth centuries.

Keywords

Eleventh Century Military Commander Islam Traditionaliste Precious Stone Textile Museum 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    N. A. Stillman, “Khila,” in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd ed., ed. H. A. R. Gibb et al. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960). The second edition of The Encyclopaedia of Islam is cited hereafter as EI2, and the first edition as EI1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    al-Djahshiyari, Kitāb al-wuzāra’, ed. M. al-Sakka’ et al. (Cairo: 1938), 90.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., 113.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    al-Ṭabari, Kitāb akhb+r al-rusūl wa al-mulūk (Annales, ed. M. J. De Goege et al., 13 vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1879–1901), 3:1233.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Ibid., 3:1302.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    al-Tanūkhi, Nishwār al-muḥāḍarah (Damascus: 1930), 8:13.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Ibid., 3:2194, 2204, 2244. See also Dominique Sourdel, Le vizirat ’abbaside (Damascus: Institut francais de Damas, 1959–60), passim.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    al-Ṣūli, Akhbār ar-Rādī billah wa’l-Muttaqi billah, trans. M. Canard, 2 vols. (Algiers: Institut d’etudes orientales, 1946), 1:174. See also H. Busse, Chalif und Grosskonig (Beirut: 1969), 216.Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    Miskawayh, Tadjārib al-umam (The Experiences of Nations), ed. and trans. H. F. Amedroz and D. S. Margoliouth, Eclipse of the ’Abbasid Caliphate, 7 vols. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1920–1921), 2:78.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    Ibn al-Djawzi, al-Muntaẓam, ed. F. Krenkow, 6 vols. (Haydarabad: 1938–1940), 6:340.Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    Hilāl al-Ṣābi, Rusūm dār al-khilāfa, ed. M. Awwad, (Baghdad: 1964), 84–85. Also E. A. Salem trans., The Rules and Regulations of the Abbasid Court (Beirut: 1977), 65–70.Google Scholar
  12. 25.
    See R. B. Serjeant, “Material for a History of Islamic Textile up to the Mongol Conquest,” Ars Islamica 9 (1942): 72. The existence of a Dār alṬirāz [Tiraz office] is already noted during the reign of Harun al-Rashid (786/170–809/193). See also A. Grohmann, “Tiraz,” in The Encyclopaedia of Islam (including Supplement), 1st ed., ed. M. T. Houtsma et al. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1913–38).Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    A. Grohmann, “Tiraz,” EI1 and Supplement. See also E. Kuhnel and L. Bellinger, Catalogue of Dated Tiraz Fabrics (Washington: Textile Museum, 1952).Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    E. Combe, J. Sauvaget, and G. Wiet, eds., Repertoire chronologique d’epigraphie arabe, 6 vols. (Cairo: Institut francais d’archeologie orientale, 1931–1935). The oldest fragments date from the reigns of the last Umayyad caliph, Marwān II, and the early ’Abbasid caliphs Harūn al-Rashid, al-Amīn, and al-Ma’mūn (in all, about 744/127 to 831/216).The next dates from the reign of al-Mutawakkil in 855/241.Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    The most important publications are: F. E. Day, “Dated Tiraz in the Collection of the University of Michigan,” Ars Islamica 4 (1937): 421–46; R. Pfister, “Toiles a inscriptions abbasides et fatimides,” Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 11 (1945–1946): 47–90; E. Kuhnel, “Abbasid Silks of the Ninth Century,” Ars Orientalis 2 (1957): 367–71; M. A. Marzouk, “Five Tiraz Fabrics in the Volkerkunde-Museum of Basel,” in Aus der Welt des islamischen Kunst: Festschrift fur Ernst Kuhnel (Berlin: Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1957), 283–89. A more comprehensive bibliography undoubtedly will soon be published under the article “Tiraz” in EI2.Google Scholar
  16. 34.
    See G. Makdisi, Ibn ’Aqil et la resurgence de l’islam traditionaliste au Xie siecle (Damascus: Institut francais, 1963), 110.Google Scholar
  17. 35.
    Ibn al-Athīr, al-Kāmil (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1867), 10:156–57.Google Scholar
  18. 36.
    See for example, J. M. Mouton, La principaute de Damas sous les Seljoukides et les Bourides (Cairo: Institut francais d’archeologie orientale, 1994), 114 and 150. see also A. M. Edde, La Principanté Ayyoulide d’ Alep (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1999), 205Google Scholar
  19. 38.
    See A. Hartmann, an-Nasir li-Din Allah (1180–1225) (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1975), 86 and n. 123.Google Scholar

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© Stewart Gordon 2001

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  • Dominique Sourdel

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