Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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12 / Conflict and Resistance

Hagia Sophia (exterior)
Hagia Sophia (exterior)
Artist / Origin Anthemius of Tralles (Greek, active 6th c.) and Isidorus of Miletus (Greek, active 6th c.) (architects)
Region: West Asia
Date Begun 532–537
Material Brick, stone, stucco, and other materials
Dimensions (Dome) H: approx. 182 ½ ft. (55.6 m.); (Minarets) H: approx. 197 ft. (60 m.) (each)
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Credit Courtesy of Vanni/Art Resource, NY

expert perspective

Tarek KahlaouiAssistant Professor of Islamic Art and Islamic History, Rutgers University

Hagia Sophia (exterior)

» Anthemius of Tralles (Greek, active 6th c.) and Isidorus of Miletus (Greek, active 6th c.) (architects)

expert perspective

Tarek Kahlaoui Tarek Kahlaoui Assistant Professor of Islamic Art and Islamic History, Rutgers University

We have two traditions here, and this is related to the concept of conquest in Islam, the Arabic word for ‘conquest’ is futūh. We have the conquest by force and we have the conquest by compromise or by peace. Where we have the conquest by force then Muslims are allowed legally, from a religious point of view, to maybe destroy or appropriate the buildings of the local population. In Constantinople it was conquest by force. The Ottomans decided to appropriate all buildings and all properties of the local population of Constantinople. They decided to make Hagia Sophia as their main mosque.” 

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