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The Dome of the Rock and its Late Antique Context

One of the most recognizable landmarks of Islamic civilization, the Dome of the Rock was constructed on the Temple Mount or Ḥaram al-Sharīf in Jerusalem by the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān (r. 685-705). Much of the original structure remains, though subsequent dynasties added to and embellished the building considerably (photo credit: Michael Pregill).

Marcus Milwright


More has probably been written about the Dome of the Rock than any other building in the Islamic world. There are, of course, good reasons for this extensive scholarly attention. This monument can be considered the first major architectural achievement of the Islamic era, having been completed only a few decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632. Located near the center of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Ar. Ḥaram al-Sharīf), the Dome of the Rock was one of the crowning achievements of the Umayyads (661-750), the first dynasty of Islam.

The monument retains much of its seventh-century superstructure and decoration, with the interior incorporating hammered copper plaques, sawn and carved marble, and walls ornamented with polychromatic glass mosaic. Gold is abundantly employed in the decoration of the interior as a background in the mosaic panels and in the gilding of the copper plaques and carved marble bands.

Moreover, the continuing importance of the building is signaled by the wealth of later ornamental additions, dating from Abbasid to Ottoman times. These range from painted wooden ceilings to intricate plaster and colored glass windows.1

Arabic inscriptions feature prominently on the interior of the building. Some of these, such as the elegant band of cursive script around the drum of the dome, are the result of patronage by later dynasties. The most important examples, however, date to the Umayyad period. These comprise two undated hammered copper plaques that originally adorned the north and east portals and a long mosaic band running around the upper part of the outer and inner faces of the octagonal arcade. Written in an angular script often known as Kufic, this gold and blue inscription is more than 250 meters in length and originally included on the outer face the name of the patron, caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (r. 685-705). This mosaic inscription is also notable for its content, incorporating the Muslim invocation (basmala), the statement of faith (shahāda), verses from the Qur’an, other material of a religious character, and a foundation date of 72 hijrī (equivalent to 691-92 CE).

Drawing of the inscription of a hammered copper plaque dating to the Umayyad period, originally from the north gate of the Dome of the Rock. Another similar plaque survives from the east gate. The north gate inscription, in Kufic lettering, is a religious evocation that includes part of Q. 112. This sūra stresses the oneness of God in contrast to the Christian concept of the Trinity. Also included is an assertive statement about Muhammad’s mission that parallels Q.9:33, as well as other blessings upon the Prophet (drawing credit: Marcus Milwright).

Drawing of the inscription of a hammered copper plaque dating to the Umayyad period, originally from the north gate of the Dome of the Rock. Another similar plaque survives from the east gate. The north gate inscription, in Kufic lettering, is a religious evocation that includes part of Q.112. This sūra stresses the oneness of God in contrast to the Christian concept of the Trinity. Also included is an assertive statement about Muhammad’s mission that parallels Q.9:33, as well as other blessings upon the Prophet (drawing credit: Marcus Milwright).

The qur’anic material was chosen to address specific themes, particularly the oneness and transcendence of God, the prophethood of Muhammad, the denial of the Christian Trinity, and the need to adhere to the true path of religion.2 The last message should be seen in the context of the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyāma), an event that many seventh-century Christians, Jews, and Muslims evidently believed to be imminent.3

Several claims are made in Arabic primary sources concerning the original function and meaning of the Dome of the Rock. Modern scholars have combined these primary sources with analyses of the structure and ornamentation of the building. Dominant lines of interpretation have suggested that it was designed to assert the victory of Islam; to evoke the Solomonic Temple; to mark the role of the Temple Mount at the end of time; and even to serve as an alternative locus for Muslim pilgrimage (ḥajj) during the second Islamic civil war.4

This search for meaning is, however, compromised by two factors: first, the fact that, with the exception of the inscriptions inside the building itself, all the Arabic textual sources relating to the Dome of the Rock were written considerably later than the 690s; and second, that the building and its ornamental program are rooted in the craft traditions and artistic vocabulary of Late Antiquity.

The first factor is part of a much larger historiographic problem facing all scholars interested in reconstructing the events of the first century of Islam and the motivations of the key players. The second is more directly pertinent to the study of early Islamic visual and material culture, and is the topic that dominates my book, The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (2016).5

External view of the Dome of the Rock from the southeast, seen through the remains of an ancient colonnade that once surrounded the central upper platform of the Temple Mount upon which the building sits. The Dome of the Rock must be viewed both through the frame of the late antique architectural practices to which it hearkens back and in terms of the transition to a new, distinctly Islamic, artistic pattern (photo credit: Michael Pregill).

External view of the Dome of the Rock from the southeast, seen through the remains of an ancient colonnade that once surrounded the central upper platform of the Temple Mount upon which the building sits. The Dome of the Rock must be viewed both through the frame of the late antique architectural practices to which it hearkens back and in terms of the transition to a new, distinctly Islamic, artistic pattern (photo credit: Michael Pregill).

It is important to recognize from the outset that early Muslim patrons had to operate within the stylistic and technical constraints of late antique architectural practice. Most significant in this context are the supply of artisans and the craft traditions in which these people had been trained. While there is evidence for Umayyad patrons importing skilled workers from different regions – something that is reflected in the appearance of novel materials, structural features, and decorative motifs in extant religious and secular monuments throughout Greater Syria – the inherent conservatism of craft practice is readily apparent from the late seventh to the mid eighth century. Specific combinations of architectural forms or decorative motifs might in many cases be new, but the basic vocabularies were rooted in the artistic production of earlier centuries.

For example, while the precise arrangement of columns and piers inside the plan of the Dome of the Rock is not encountered elsewhere, the general idea of creating an octagonal commemorative structure (a martyrium) was evidently well established in the religious landscape of the eastern Mediterranean.6 The same can also be said about the designs covering the mosaic panels inside the Dome of the Rock, and scholars have identified prototypes for given motifs in the arts of the Byzantine Empire and Sasanian Iran.milwright

This is not to say that the Umayyads failed to generate new meanings with their synthesis of existing elements. Indeed, the interpretation of Umayyad religious and secular iconography has sparked lively academic debate. The mosaic inscriptions are a case in point; they clearly offer something new, in that never before had a substantial Arabic text been rendered in the medium of mosaic. The inscriptions also provide assertive messages that are specific to the new religion of Islam. That said, in other respects, the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock would have been familiar to late antique viewers. The combination of gold letters on a blue background is found on numerous mosaic inscriptions (Greek and Latin) around the Mediterranean region between the fifth and the eighth centuries.7 In addition, the practice of encircling the exterior or some part of the interior space with a continuous band of words is encountered in Late Antique Greater Syria, Italy, Armenia, and Tunisia. Two more examples – the churches of St. Polyeuktos and Sts. Sergius and Bacchus – can be associated with elite patronage in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, suggesting an imperial dimension to the practice.

There is no evidence in Arabia for an indigenous tradition of laying glass mosaics. It is most likely that the teams of artisans responsible for the panels in the Dome of the Rock were already operating in Palestine earlier in the seventh century. Links have been suggested with the mosaic panels ornamenting the walls of the nave in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Importantly, this means that the Arabic inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock were laid by artisans with previous knowledge of creating monumental texts in Greek. They will have faced numerous technical challenges as they transferred the Kufic inscriptions prepared by Arab Muslim scribes (presumably drawn with ink on rolls of papyrus) into mosaic.

Evidence for the difficulties encountered by the mosaicists is most obvious on the band of text adorning the outer face of the octagonal arcade. For example, the proportional characteristics of the letter forms are relatively inconsistent, with repeated phrases such as the invocation and statement of faith treated differently across the eight sides of the octagon. Furthermore, the style of the script shifts noticeably in part of the inner face inscription (that part running counterclockwise from the last part of the southwest side to the end of the southeast side).8 This shift suggests that the designers of the mosaic inscription were now looking to contemporary book scripts employed in the writing of the Qur’an. The style of the remaining areas on the outer and inner faces seems to draw more heavily on monumental Arabic incised into stone.

The mosaic inscriptions of the Dome of the Rock are, therefore, both rooted in past practices and profoundly experimental in character. These points should inform the scholarly search for the meanings communicated by the texts themselves, for they apply to the technical dimensions of the formation of letters and to the content on the outer and inner faces of the octagonal arcade. The outer face inscription can, in certain respects, be compared to the types of extended foundation text employed in Christian monumental architecture in Late Antiquity. The inner text changes the focus, however, with its concentration on extended quotation from scripture. It is this dimension of the inscriptional program that truly anticipates later developments in religious architecture across the Islamic world. The reasons for this change in focus can be traced to the complex political and cultural environment of the late 680s and 690s. My book explores the extent to which the messages contained within the inscriptions, and in broadly contemporary coins and rock graffiti, relate to the ideological conflicts of the second civil war, the evolving relations with the Byzantine Empire, and elevation of the spiritual status of the caliph. This last issue relates closely to the vehement opposition of the Kharijites, a group who held that authority could only be found with God.9

The Dome of the Rock is located at a crucial point of transition. Still informed by ideas that had been circulating in the eastern Mediterranean in the previous two centuries, it also became a vehicle for the expression of new and potent ideas, many of which would preoccupy Islamic patrons and artists for centuries to come.

(L) Section drawing of the Dome of the Rock by Frederick Catherwood (courtesy Wikimedia Commons); (R) Diagram showing how the outer and inner face inscription bands are viewed from ground level (drawing credit: Munazzah Akhtar). The scripts used in the mosaic inscriptions in the outer and inner bands vary, reflecting both the practical challenges faced by the mosaicists and the influence of changing scribal conventions.

(L) Section drawing of the Dome of the Rock by Frederick Catherwood (courtesy Wikimedia Commons); (R) Diagram showing how the outer and inner face inscription bands are viewed from ground level (drawing credit: Munazzah Akhtar). The scripts used in the mosaic inscriptions in the outer and inner bands vary, reflecting both the practical challenges faced by the mosaicists and the influence of changing scribal conventions.

MARCUS MILWRIGHT is professor of Islamic art and archaeology in the Department of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. His research interests include the visual and material cultures of the pre-modern Middle East; the traditional craft practices of the Islamic world; European portraits of Muslim rulers; and the history of medicine. He is the author of The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (Brill, 2008), An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), and The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). In November 2015 he gave a talk at Boston University entitled “Medium and Message: Decoding the Mosaic Inscriptions in ʿAbd al-Malik’s Dome of the Rock.”

[1] For illustrations of the interior and exterior, see Said Nuseibeh and Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Rizzoli, 1996). On the development of the building from the seventh century to the present, see Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Harvard University Press, 2006). See also contributions in Sylvia Auld and Robert Hillenbrand, eds., Ottoman Jerusalem, The Living City: 1517-1917 (Altajir Trust, 2000).

[2] For translations, see Sheila Blair, “What is the Date of the Dome of the Rock?,” in Julian Raby and Jeremy Johns, eds., Bayt al-Maqdis. Part 1:ʿAbd al-Malik’s Jerusalem (Oxford Studies in Islamic Art 9.1; Oxford University Press, 1993), 86-87; Nuseibeh and Grabar, The Dome of the Rock, 78-81, 106-109; Norman Calder, Jawid Mojaddedi, and Andrew Rippin, eds., Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature (rev. second ed.; Routledge, 2012), 134-37.

[3] On the apocalyptic literature of this period, see Robert Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writing on Islam (Studies in Late Antiquity and Islam 13; Darwin Press, 1997), 257-335.

[4] Some of the most influential interpretations include: Oleg Grabar, “The Umayyad Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,” Ars Orientalis 3 (1959) 3-62; Myriam Rosen Ayalon, Early Islamic Monuments of al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf: An Iconographic Study (Qedem 28; Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, 1989); Nasser Rabbat, “The Meaning of the Dome of the Rock,” Muqarnas 6 (1989) 12-21; Gülru Necıpoğlu, “The Dome of the Rock as Palimpsest: ʿAbd al-Malik’s Grand Narrative and Sultan Süleyman’s Glosses,” Muqarnas 25 (2008): 17-105. These works contain extensive bibliographies giving earlier work on the building.

[5] Marcus Milwright, The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

[6] Rina Avner, “The Dome of the Rock in the Light of the Development of Concentric Martyria in Jerusalem: Architecture and Architectural Iconography,” Muqarnas 27 (2009) 31-49.

[7] Lawrence Nees, “Gold behind Blue: The Inscription of the Dome of the Rock and its Relatives,” in Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, eds., And Diverse are their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture (Yale University Press, 2011), 154-73.

[8] Alain George, The Rise of Arabic Calligraphy (Saqi, 2010), 60-68; Milwright, The Dome of the Rock, 104-30.

[9] Stefan Heidemann, “The Evolving Representation of the Early Islamic Empire and its Religion on Coin Imagery,” in Angelika Neuwirth, Nicolai Sinai, and Michael Marx, eds., The Qurʾān in Context: Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qurʾānic Milieu (Text and Studies on the Qurʾān 6; Brill, 2010), 176-77, 184-86.

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The Dome of the Rock and its Late Antique Context


Marcus Milwright


More has probably been written about the Dome of the Rock than any other building in the Islamic world. There are, of course, good reasons for this extensive scholarly attention. This monument can be considered the first major architectural achievement of the Islamic era, having been completed only a few decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632. Located near the center of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Ar. Ḥaram al-Sharīf), the Dome of the Rock was one of the crowning achievements of the Umayyads (661-750), the first dynasty of Islam.

The monument retains much of its seventh-century superstructure and decoration, with the interior incorporating hammered copper plaques, sawn and carved marble, and walls ornamented with polychromatic glass mosaic. Gold is abundantly employed in the decoration of the interior as a background in the mosaic panels and in the gilding of the copper plaques and carved marble bands.

Moreover, the continuing importance of the building is signaled by the wealth of later ornamental additions, dating from Abbasid to Ottoman times. These range from painted wooden ceilings to intricate plaster and colored glass windows.1

Arabic inscriptions feature prominently on the interior of the building. Some of these, such as the elegant band of cursive script around the drum of the dome, are the result of patronage by later dynasties. The most important examples, however, date to the Umayyad period. These comprise two undated hammered copper plaques that originally adorned the north and east portals and a long mosaic band running around the upper part of the outer and inner faces of the octagonal arcade. Written in an angular script often known as Kufic, this gold and blue inscription is more than 250 meters in length and originally included on the outer face the name of the patron, caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (r. 685-705). This mosaic inscription is also notable for its content, incorporating the Muslim invocation (basmala), the statement of faith (shahāda), verses from the Qur’an, other material of a religious character, and a foundation date of 72 hijrī (equivalent to 691-92 CE).

Drawing of the inscription of a hammered copper plaque dating to the Umayyad period, originally from the north gate of the Dome of the Rock. Another similar plaque survives from the east gate. The north gate inscription, in Kufic lettering, is a religious evocation that includes part of Q. 112. This sūra stresses the oneness of God in contrast to the Christian concept of the Trinity. Also included is an assertive statement about Muhammad’s mission that parallels Q.9:33, as well as other blessings upon the Prophet (drawing credit: Marcus Milwright).

Drawing of the inscription of a hammered copper plaque dating to the Umayyad period, originally from the north gate of the Dome of the Rock. Another similar plaque survives from the east gate. The north gate inscription, in Kufic lettering, is a religious evocation that includes part of Q.112. This sūra stresses the oneness of God in contrast to the Christian concept of the Trinity. Also included is an assertive statement about Muhammad’s mission that parallels Q.9:33, as well as other blessings upon the Prophet (drawing credit: Marcus Milwright).

The qur’anic material was chosen to address specific themes, particularly the oneness and transcendence of God, the prophethood of Muhammad, the denial of the Christian Trinity, and the need to adhere to the true path of religion.2 The last message should be seen in the context of the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyāma), an event that many seventh-century Christians, Jews, and Muslims evidently believed to be imminent.3

Several claims are made in Arabic primary sources concerning the original function and meaning of the Dome of the Rock. Modern scholars have combined these primary sources with analyses of the structure and ornamentation of the building. Dominant lines of interpretation have suggested that it was designed to assert the victory of Islam; to evoke the Solomonic Temple; to mark the role of the Temple Mount at the end of time; and even to serve as an alternative locus for Muslim pilgrimage (ḥajj) during the second Islamic civil war.4

This search for meaning is, however, compromised by two factors: first, the fact that, with the exception of the inscriptions inside the building itself, all the Arabic textual sources relating to the Dome of the Rock were written considerably later than the 690s; and second, that the building and its ornamental program are rooted in the craft traditions and artistic vocabulary of Late Antiquity.

The first factor is part of a much larger historiographic problem facing all scholars interested in reconstructing the events of the first century of Islam and the motivations of the key players. The second is more directly pertinent to the study of early Islamic visual and material culture, and is the topic that dominates my book, The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (2016).5

External view of the Dome of the Rock from the southeast, seen through the remains of an ancient colonnade that once surrounded the central upper platform of the Temple Mount upon which the building sits. The Dome of the Rock must be viewed both through the frame of the late antique architectural practices to which it hearkens back and in terms of the transition to a new, distinctly Islamic, artistic pattern (photo credit: Michael Pregill).

External view of the Dome of the Rock from the southeast, seen through the remains of an ancient colonnade that once surrounded the central upper platform of the Temple Mount upon which the building sits. The Dome of the Rock must be viewed both through the frame of the late antique architectural practices to which it hearkens back and in terms of the transition to a new, distinctly Islamic, artistic pattern (photo credit: Michael Pregill).

It is important to recognize from the outset that early Muslim patrons had to operate within the stylistic and technical constraints of late antique architectural practice. Most significant in this context are the supply of artisans and the craft traditions in which these people had been trained. While there is evidence for Umayyad patrons importing skilled workers from different regions – something that is reflected in the appearance of novel materials, structural features, and decorative motifs in extant religious and secular monuments throughout Greater Syria – the inherent conservatism of craft practice is readily apparent from the late seventh to the mid eighth century. Specific combinations of architectural forms or decorative motifs might in many cases be new, but the basic vocabularies were rooted in the artistic production of earlier centuries.

For example, while the precise arrangement of columns and piers inside the plan of the Dome of the Rock is not encountered elsewhere, the general idea of creating an octagonal commemorative structure (a martyrium) was evidently well established in the religious landscape of the eastern Mediterranean.6 The same can also be said about the designs covering the mosaic panels inside the Dome of the Rock, and scholars have identified prototypes for given motifs in the arts of the Byzantine Empire and Sasanian Iran.milwright

This is not to say that the Umayyads failed to generate new meanings with their synthesis of existing elements. Indeed, the interpretation of Umayyad religious and secular iconography has sparked lively academic debate. The mosaic inscriptions are a case in point; they clearly offer something new, in that never before had a substantial Arabic text been rendered in the medium of mosaic. The inscriptions also provide assertive messages that are specific to the new religion of Islam. That said, in other respects, the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock would have been familiar to late antique viewers. The combination of gold letters on a blue background is found on numerous mosaic inscriptions (Greek and Latin) around the Mediterranean region between the fifth and the eighth centuries.7 In addition, the practice of encircling the exterior or some part of the interior space with a continuous band of words is encountered in Late Antique Greater Syria, Italy, Armenia, and Tunisia. Two more examples – the churches of St. Polyeuktos and Sts. Sergius and Bacchus – can be associated with elite patronage in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, suggesting an imperial dimension to the practice.

There is no evidence in Arabia for an indigenous tradition of laying glass mosaics. It is most likely that the teams of artisans responsible for the panels in the Dome of the Rock were already operating in Palestine earlier in the seventh century. Links have been suggested with the mosaic panels ornamenting the walls of the nave in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Importantly, this means that the Arabic inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock were laid by artisans with previous knowledge of creating monumental texts in Greek. They will have faced numerous technical challenges as they transferred the Kufic inscriptions prepared by Arab Muslim scribes (presumably drawn with ink on rolls of papyrus) into mosaic.

Evidence for the difficulties encountered by the mosaicists is most obvious on the band of text adorning the outer face of the octagonal arcade. For example, the proportional characteristics of the letter forms are relatively inconsistent, with repeated phrases such as the invocation and statement of faith treated differently across the eight sides of the octagon. Furthermore, the style of the script shifts noticeably in part of the inner face inscription (that part running counterclockwise from the last part of the southwest side to the end of the southeast side).8 This shift suggests that the designers of the mosaic inscription were now looking to contemporary book scripts employed in the writing of the Qur’an. The style of the remaining areas on the outer and inner faces seems to draw more heavily on monumental Arabic incised into stone.

The mosaic inscriptions of the Dome of the Rock are, therefore, both rooted in past practices and profoundly experimental in character. These points should inform the scholarly search for the meanings communicated by the texts themselves, for they apply to the technical dimensions of the formation of letters and to the content on the outer and inner faces of the octagonal arcade. The outer face inscription can, in certain respects, be compared to the types of extended foundation text employed in Christian monumental architecture in Late Antiquity. The inner text changes the focus, however, with its concentration on extended quotation from scripture. It is this dimension of the inscriptional program that truly anticipates later developments in religious architecture across the Islamic world. The reasons for this change in focus can be traced to the complex political and cultural environment of the late 680s and 690s. My book explores the extent to which the messages contained within the inscriptions, and in broadly contemporary coins and rock graffiti, relate to the ideological conflicts of the second civil war, the evolving relations with the Byzantine Empire, and elevation of the spiritual status of the caliph. This last issue relates closely to the vehement opposition of the Kharijites, a group who held that authority could only be found with God.9

The Dome of the Rock is located at a crucial point of transition. Still informed by ideas that had been circulating in the eastern Mediterranean in the previous two centuries, it also became a vehicle for the expression of new and potent ideas, many of which would preoccupy Islamic patrons and artists for centuries to come.

(L) Section drawing of the Dome of the Rock by Frederick Catherwood (courtesy Wikimedia Commons); (R) Diagram showing how the outer and inner face inscription bands are viewed from ground level (drawing credit: Munazzah Akhtar). The scripts used in the mosaic inscriptions in the outer and inner bands vary, reflecting both the practical challenges faced by the mosaicists and the influence of changing scribal conventions.

(L) Section drawing of the Dome of the Rock by Frederick Catherwood (courtesy Wikimedia Commons); (R) Diagram showing how the outer and inner face inscription bands are viewed from ground level (drawing credit: Munazzah Akhtar). The scripts used in the mosaic inscriptions in the outer and inner bands vary, reflecting both the practical challenges faced by the mosaicists and the influence of changing scribal conventions.

MARCUS MILWRIGHT is professor of Islamic art and archaeology in the Department of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. His research interests include the visual and material cultures of the pre-modern Middle East; the traditional craft practices of the Islamic world; European portraits of Muslim rulers; and the history of medicine. He is the author of The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (Brill, 2008), An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), and The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). In November 2015 he gave a talk at Boston University entitled “Medium and Message: Decoding the Mosaic Inscriptions in ʿAbd al-Malik’s Dome of the Rock.”

[1] For illustrations of the interior and exterior, see Said Nuseibeh and Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Rizzoli, 1996). On the development of the building from the seventh century to the present, see Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock (Harvard University Press, 2006). See also contributions in Sylvia Auld and Robert Hillenbrand, eds., Ottoman Jerusalem, The Living City: 1517-1917 (Altajir Trust, 2000).

[2] For translations, see Sheila Blair, “What is the Date of the Dome of the Rock?,” in Julian Raby and Jeremy Johns, eds., Bayt al-Maqdis. Part 1:ʿAbd al-Malik’s Jerusalem (Oxford Studies in Islamic Art 9.1; Oxford University Press, 1993), 86-87; Nuseibeh and Grabar, The Dome of the Rock, 78-81, 106-109; Norman Calder, Jawid Mojaddedi, and Andrew Rippin, eds., Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature (rev. second ed.; Routledge, 2012), 134-37.

[3] On the apocalyptic literature of this period, see Robert Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writing on Islam (Studies in Late Antiquity and Islam 13; Darwin Press, 1997), 257-335.

[4] Some of the most influential interpretations include: Oleg Grabar, “The Umayyad Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,” Ars Orientalis 3 (1959) 3-62; Myriam Rosen Ayalon, Early Islamic Monuments of al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf: An Iconographic Study (Qedem 28; Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, 1989); Nasser Rabbat, “The Meaning of the Dome of the Rock,” Muqarnas 6 (1989) 12-21; Gülru Necıpoğlu, “The Dome of the Rock as Palimpsest: ʿAbd al-Malik’s Grand Narrative and Sultan Süleyman’s Glosses,” Muqarnas 25 (2008): 17-105. These works contain extensive bibliographies giving earlier work on the building.

[5] Marcus Milwright, The Dome of the Rock and its Umayyad Mosaic Inscriptions (Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

[6] Rina Avner, “The Dome of the Rock in the Light of the Development of Concentric Martyria in Jerusalem: Architecture and Architectural Iconography,” Muqarnas 27 (2009) 31-49.

[7] Lawrence Nees, “Gold behind Blue: The Inscription of the Dome of the Rock and its Relatives,” in Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, eds., And Diverse are their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture (Yale University Press, 2011), 154-73.

[8] Alain George, The Rise of Arabic Calligraphy (Saqi, 2010), 60-68; Milwright, The Dome of the Rock, 104-30.

[9] Stefan Heidemann, “The Evolving Representation of the Early Islamic Empire and its Religion on Coin Imagery,” in Angelika Neuwirth, Nicolai Sinai, and Michael Marx, eds., The Qurʾān in Context: Historical and Literary Investigations into the Qurʾānic Milieu (Text and Studies on the Qurʾān 6; Brill, 2010), 176-77, 184-86.

The Dome of the Rock and its Late Antique Context

The Dome of the Rock and its Late Antique Context