Revisiting The Great Mosque of Damascus

Alain George, University of Oxford

This lecture took place as a live Webinar on Wednesday 2 March 2022 12:30pm EST (New York time) as part of the Silsila Spring 2022 series.

The Great Mosque of Damascus is an iconic monument of world architecture, and the oldest mosque still standing in something close to its original state. It was built at the end of the first Islamic century on a site previously occupied by a Roman temple of Jupiter and a church of John the Baptist. This lecture explored this pre-Islamic past, the political crisis that erupted with Damascene Christians upon the foundation of the mosque, and the aesthetic values that underpinned the Umayyad monument. It was followed by a conversation with Finbarr Barry Flood, author of The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (2000).