Commencing about A.D. 700. Mohammedan architecture runs parallel to the history of later Byzantine architecture in the East and Roman esque and Gothic in the West. We must study the origins of this architectural style in the mosques (q.v.). As the Mohammedans in the countries which they conquered found then sel•es surrounded by magnificent monuments of all the past civilizations of the East, it was natu ral that they should turn to them for the type of their mosques. The earliest mosque of ally pre tension was that of Antra (about A.n. 641) at Fostat, which consecrated the Arab conquest of Egypt. it served as a type for two centuries. Its colonnades around an open court seem to combine the plan of the atrium of a Christian basilica and the hypostyle hall of an Egyptian temple. The columns were taken from churches and arranged in numerous rows, surmounted by low-stilted arches, on which rested a flat, wooden ceiling. There appears to have been no ;esthetic beauty and no decoration in this perfectly plain brick structure. it was in Syria, where the Om miad caliphs had their capital at Damascus, that the first artistic monuments were erected under al-Malak and his son Al-\Valid, about A.D. 700. They spent immense sums on three buildings which still remain: the Mosque of Damascus (705), reputed the most sumptuous monument of the Mohammedan world, and built to surpass the works of Christian architecture in Syria; the Al-Aksa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, com monly called 'Mosque of Omar' (691), both in Jerusalem, built to rival the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Al-Aksa was of a different type from the Egyptian mosques, and more like a hall or a Christian church. The principal side of its court, called the Jami, containing the Kihlah and pulpit (millibar), bad a forest of 280 columns in 20 rows, and in the centre, opposite the Kiblah, rose a dome. On the other hand, the great Da mascus mosque was of the Egyptian type of the Mosque of Antru, the type of the atrium, and had only a triple line of columns on the donmi (main ball) side, and a single row on the others. In both mosques the columns now support pointed arches. The courts were tilled with secondary monuments, usually ill the shape of domed chap els or fountains. The most important of these is the Dome of the Rock in the court of the Al-Aksa Mosque. 11 followed the Byzan
tine domical type; its central dome. 112 feet high, is supported on four square piers with intermediate columns, and is by two concentric aisles with eight piers and sixteen col unms, on an octagonal plan. It was erected in order to rival in splendor and sacredness the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The next important building in thr Mohamme dan world is the great mosque at Cordova, the capital of the new Kingdom of Spain, founded in 786. The main hall of this mosque was the largest known, measuring 534 X 3S7 feet, and containing 856 columns in 19 aisles. its wooden ceiling, notwithstanding this great length, is 30 feet high. The intricate effect of the maze of columns is increased by there being no central nave as in Christian churches and by the unique arrangement of two stories of superposed horseshoe arches. Here one sees the alternation of white and black marbles, which later became so characteristic of the Italian Tus can school, and an early form of stiff foliated arabesque in small separate compartments. The eighth century and the following witness a flow ering of Mohammedan architecture in all prov inces and in all classes of buildings: fountains, baths, aqueducts, palaces. khans. bridges, caravan serais, minarets, mausoleums, monasteries and colleges, bazaars and city gates, hospitals. clois ters. A large part of the revenues of the State was devoted to public works. Bagdad was built in 762 and became the capital of the caliphate. Great buildings wore erected in time cities of North Africa, in Kairwan ( mosque in 837 ) Tunis ( mosque and arsenal in 742). The wonderful buildings of Bagdad, so vividly described but now all de stroyed, probably gave the keynote to the new art. The relief o•nanments at Cordova were echoes from Byzantium; so were time mosaics and marbles, as well as the domes of the monuments of Damas cus and Jerusalem. But gradually Persian pre ponderance makes itself felt through the dynasty of the Abbassides with Bagdad as eentre. Time wooden roof is entirely abandoned for the dome. A purely Oriental system of ornament is in vented, both geometric and arabesque. The wall surfaces, which had hitherto been left plain ornamented in Byzantine fashion, are covered with intricate and faTenee tiles, inherited from ancient Persia and Babylonia.