Shālla as a Site of Royal Presence: Constructing the Sultanic Image in Fourteenth-Century Morocco by Péter T Nagy
The funerary complex located at the picturesque site of Shālla, Rabat, is generally known as the main burial ground of the Marīnid dynasty between 1284 and 1354, and thus construed as one of the main monuments from the period. This lecture traces the buildings’ development, presenting the results of an archaeological investigation, while also examining the patrons’ political motives.
It emerges that, by modifying and expanding the complex, the sultans were equally conscious of elevating their own image, on which the site’s operation and perception, as recorded by contemporary authors, shed ample light. The overarching argument highlights how the Marīnid sultans’ presence, whether physical or metaphorical, at Shālla contributed to its popularity at the time.
About the Speaker
Péter Nagy studied Arabic, Islamic art, and archaeology, and completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford (2021). His main interests include the architectural history of the Maghrib, on which he has published several articles; his doctoral thesis investigates the site of Shālla (Rabat) and its royal funerary complex. In addition, he also works on the European reception of Islamic architecture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.