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Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle EastAn Historical Perspective$
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Daniella Talmon-Heller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474460965

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460965.001.0001

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Why Ascalon? Christian Martyrs and Muslim Murābiṭūn (Defenders)

Why Ascalon? Christian Martyrs and Muslim Murābiṭūn (Defenders)

(p.61) 6 Why Ascalon? Christian Martyrs and Muslim Murābiṭūn (Defenders)
Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle East

Daniella Talmon-Heller

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter records the search for extant evidence that pre-dates Badr al-Din's inscription and refers to the burial of al-Husayn's head in Ascalon. Having only found reference to a shrine in honour of Christian decapitated martyrs there in the early fourth-century (marked on Madaba Map), and to the town's prestige as a destiny of ribāṭ for pious 'defenders' in the Umayyad and early Abbasid period - it argues that the Islamic shrine was constructed on the basis of a newly 'invented tradition', on previously consecrated grounds. Its merits were listed in compilations known as Faḍāʾil ʿAsqalān.

Keywords:   'invented tradition', Madaba Map, early Christian martyrs of Palestine, Abbasid Ascalon, Faḍāʾil ʿAsqalān

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