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Hunt, L-A., 2016.

An Icon and Gospel Book: The Assimilation of Byzantine Art by Arab Christians in Mamluk Egypt and Syria

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Studies in Coptic Culture: Transmission and Interaction. Ed. Mariam Ayad
Publisher:American University in Cairo Press

This paper links an icon in Old Cairo with an illustrated Arabic Gospel book in Istanbul and discusses the process of assimilation of Byzantine art by Arab Christians in the Mamluk territories of Egypt and Syria in the mid-fourteenth century A.D. Cultural identity is one of the most politically-charged issues of our time, not only in Coptic Studies but also universally. This chapter is included in a volume of studies which addresses this issue primarily through the Coptic community where there is an emphasis on the importance of faith and religious belief as defining elements of cultural identity. That emphasis is not, however, a modern construct. Also, it needs to be considered alongside issues of ethnicity. . The present case views Arab Christianity in Egypt alongside influence from the Byzantine, medieval Greek, world.