Talismans drawing on the combined iconographies of lions and dragons proliferated on the walls and doors of cities and civic institutions in early thirteenth-century Iraq, Syria, and Anatolia. This article examines them in light of three different medieval theoretical models, seeking to shed light on why intelligent people in their original milieus might have expected such talismans to have protective power.
Symmetry, Sympathy, and Sensation: Talismanic Efficacy and Slippery Iconographies in Early Thirteenth-Century Iraq, Syria, and Anatolia
Persis Berlekamp is Associate Professor of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago, where she teaches a range of topics in the history of Islamic art and architecture She is the author of Wonder, Image, and Cosmos in Medieval Islam and is currently writing a book on Islamic talismans.
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Persis Berlekamp; Symmetry, Sympathy, and Sensation: Talismanic Efficacy and Slippery Iconographies in Early Thirteenth-Century Iraq, Syria, and Anatolia. Representations 1 February 2016; 133 (1): 59–109. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2016.133.1.59
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