Royal Architecture Portrayed in Bayhaqī’s Tārīḫ-i Masʻūdī and Archaeological Evidence from Ghazni (Afghanistan, 10th-12th c.)

Abstract : Few traces of the splendour of Medieval Ghazni, capital city of the Ghaznavid dynasty between the late 10 th and the mid-12 th century, survive up to these days. Among other references in literary sources, the extant volumes of the chronicle compiled by Abū ʻl-Faḍl Bayhaqī (385-470/995-1077) provide vivid descriptions of the Ghaznavid court under the rule of Masʻūd I b. Maḥmūd (421-32/1031-41). This study analyses the information issued from Bayhaqī's narrative about royal palaces and gardens, in order to gain better knowledge about Ghazni's urbanism. An attempt was made to complement historical information with archaeological data resulted from the excavations of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan (1957-68) and from recent researches carried out on this documentation. Despite the fact that the buildings mentioned in Bayhaqī's History do not correspond with those explored by archaeologists, the crosscheck of textual and archaeological data enable us to locate some landmarks on a reconstructed map of mediaeval Ghazni. Both the Tarīḫ-i Masʻūdī and the archaeological investigations bear witness to intensive construction activity patronised by the Ghaznavid rulers, aiming at the achievement of new architectural projects as well as at the restoration of pre-existing structures. Moreover, we realize the existence, in the early Ghaznavid period, of a 'royal circuit' including some residences and gardens standing in the city's suburbs.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01187652
Contributor : Viola Allegranzi <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 12:11:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 6:58:01 PM

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Viola Allegranzi. Royal Architecture Portrayed in Bayhaqī’s Tārīḫ-i Masʻūdī and Archaeological Evidence from Ghazni (Afghanistan, 10th-12th c.) . Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli, 2014, 74, pp.95-120. ⟨halshs-01187652⟩

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