Dome in Mosque Architecture originated in India before Islam

mrabe at mrabe at
Fri Jun 27 14:11:37 UTC 1997

In reponse to Philip Jonsson's post of Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:05:24 BST:

>Isn't the Pantheon at Rome the eldest example of this?  IIRC it is held
>that many now lost Roman buildings had domes.

The Ancient Eyptians knew the arch and used it for barrel-vaulting of
warehouses, etc.--never for their more formal capital-A Architectural
monuments. Likewise, the Greeks also preferred to use only a very formal
_post & lintel_ contruction for their major civic and religious edifies.

The oldest truly famous arch that survives (from the Babylon of
Nebuchadnezzar) is the Ishtar Gate, c. 575 B.C.E., reconstructed in the
Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Interestingly, with respect to regional
continuities--its glazed brick were predominately a dark cobalt
blue--anticipating the tile-work of the much later Islamic monuments we
know so well (for example) from news photos of Saddam Hussein's assault on
the Shiia resistance at Kerbala in 1991.

The Pantheon (118-125 CE) is certainly the best preserved Roman dome, but
the opened-form (with an occulus sky light) had proven antecedents in
bath-house construction: the better to retain or vent sauna-like vapors.


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