Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11527/17358
Title: Anadolu Selçukluları'nın anıtsal mimarisi üzerine kozmoloji temelli bir anlam araştırması
Authors: Ögel, Semra
Peker, Ali Uzay
53307
Sanat Tarihi
Art History
Keywords: Anıtsal yapılar
Figür
Kozmoloji
Mimari eserler
Mimarlık
Selçuklular
Simgesel biçim
Tarihi eserler
Monumental buildings
Figure
Cosmology
Architectural works
Architecture
Seljuks
Symbolic form
Historic buildings
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü
Institute of Social Sciences
Abstract: Anadolu Selçuklu mimari süslemesinin içerdiği insan, hayvan ve bitki figürleri süsleme motifleri olmalarının ötesinde, birer anlam yüklü simgedir. Bu figürlerin anlamları ve biçimsel özellikleri çalışılmıştır. Öte yandan bu simgelerin içinde yer aldıkları mimari bütünlükle aralarında kurulabilecek anlamsal ilişkiler ortaya konmamıştır. Bu çalışmanın amacı Anadolu Selçuklu mimarisinin içerdiği -geometrik motifler dışındaki- figür-simgeleri böyle bir bağlamda değerlendirmek ve bu simgelerin somutluğunda Anadolu Selçuklu mimarisinin içerdiği anlamları açıklamaktır. Bu çalışmada göstergebilimin 'anlam'ın yapısını açıklamak için geliştirdiği terminoloji kullanılmış ve açıklama yöntemi Erwin Panofsky'nin ikonografi (simgelerin ve kavramların dökümü veya yazımı) ve ikonoloji (simgelerin yorumu) temel ayrımı üzerine kurgulanmıştır. Her figür-simge bir gösterilenin yani kavramın gösterenidir. Anlam ise gösteren ve gösterilen arasındaki etkileşimin bir ürünüdür; bu nedenle, bu çalışmanın birinci bölümünde, simgelerin anlamlarını çözümleyebilmek için gösterenler yani figür-simgeler ile gösterilenler yani kavramlar sergilenmiştir. Figür-simgeler ile kavramların bu dökümü sonucu açığa çıkan anlamlar, mimari biçimlerin oluşturduğu birleşimlerin anlamlarını da açıklamaktadır. Biçimlerin ve figürlerin -ve hatta küçük sanatlara ait nesnelerin- esinlediği anlamlar arasındaki koşutluk Ortaçağ ve öncesinde yaşamış insanın evren anlayışı ile uyum göstermektedir. Bu anlayışın belirleyici kavramı 'bütünlük'tür. Doğal ya da insan yaratısı her nesne kurmaca bir kozmosun parçası olarak değerlendirilmiştir. Bu çalışmanın üçüncü bölümünde Ortaçağ ve öncesi insanının kozmos anlayışını açıklayabilmek için, onun kurduğu kozmolojik dizge araştırılmış; ayrıca mimari biçimlerle ilişkilendirilebilecek kozmolojik kavramlar ve bu kavramların biçimler ile ilişkisi ortaya konmuştur. Birinci bölümde açıklanmış olan figür simgelerin gönderdiği kavramlar, üçüncü bölümde sergilenen kavramlar için birer ipucu olarak değerlendirilmiştir. Buna ek olarak üçüncü bölümde bilgikuramsal bir olgu olarak kavramın doğası araştırılmış ve bu çalışmanın yaklaşım biçiminin temelini oluşturan 'kavramsal bütünlük' açıklanmıştır. Bu şekilde, İslam öncesine ya da farklı coğrafyalara ait kozmolojilerde içerilen kavramların tez içinde örneklenme nedeni ortaya konmuştur. Dördüncü bölümde ise Anadolu Selçuklu mimarisinin içerdiği figür-simgeler ve biçimlerin esinlediği anlamlar ile, Avrupa geç Ortaçağ mimarisinin içerdiği figür-simgeler ve biçimlerin esinlediği anlamlar karşılaştırılmış ve aralarındaki benzer noktalar Akdeniz çevresinde Ortaçağ'da farklı kültürel halkalar içinde gelişen ortak bir kavramsal temelin varlığı ile açıklanmıştır. Sonuç bölümünde ortaya konulduğu gibi, figür-simgelerin esinlediği ve mimari biçimlerin ürettiği anlamlar, Anadolu Selçuklularının inşa ettiği yapıların, göksel, kutsal bir boyut ile yersel, dünyasal alan arasında aracı mekanlar olduğunu; aynı zamanda da bu mekanların göksel bir ilk-örneği yeryüzünde yeniden ürettiğini ortaya çıkarmıştır. Ortaçağ insanının makrokozmos-mikrokozmos ayrımını bir bütünlük içinde değerlendirmesi, yani bir kozmos yaratması koşutunda, yapılar içinde bu kozmos imgesi çeşitli simgesel öğeler (biçimler, mekanlar ve figürler) aracılığıyla somutlaştırılmıştır.
The architecture of the Anatolian Seljuks incorporates diverse elements extracted from different sources in conformity with the general construction trend of the Islamic architecture in the Middle Ages. These elements are juxtaposed to create convenient spaces for the secular and religious needs of the muslims. In parallel to the adaptation of the forms from preceding architectural traditions, pre-lslamic design principles persisted to affect the constitution of the buildings. Archaic cosmological concepts like 'four directions and center', 'layers of the universe', 'Sun or Sky Gate', 'mountain', 'ocean' and 'cosmic unity' were the primary agents to shape these principles. Since, an iconographical source is lacking to evaluate the architectural forms composed by the muslim builders, other means should be discovered to evince the continuity of these principles in Islamic architecture. In thirteenth century Anatolia, we find an unprecedented conjunction of extraordinary ornamental motifs and architectural works. These motifs of the Anatolian Seljukid architecture can also be seen as symbols which have been explored with respect to their forms and meanings; but, a study is lacking to disclose their interrelation with the architecture. The present study will attempt to fill this gap in exploring the meanings of the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs which have a significant semantic contribution in their relation to the architectural forms. Each motif which is at the same time a symbol, communicates meaning owing to the reciprocal activity of its components which are significans (symbol) and signified (concept). Because of this reciprocity, concepts from different sources are collected in the third chapter to recover the relationship between the significans and signified of each motif and then between the architectural forms (signified) and motifs (significans). The human, animal and plant representations used in the decoration of the forms connote specific concepts recorded in the cosmological and philosophical treatises of the Islamic and pre-lslamic times. In resuscitating these concepts, an iconography of architectural forms and symbols can be created to grasp the meanings in the architecture of the Anatolian Seljuks. It can be argued that an iconography made up of references to these sources will remain too general and unspecified, and will not lead to concrete results. On the other hand, generalizations are unavoidable in the field of symbolism and this argument can be encountered if the world view of the man of the Middle Ages is taken into consideration. This man who was himself composing conceptual generalizations, regarded the universe as a composition of individual units i.e., as a cosmos. According to him every creature reflected the rules XIII and regulations of a transcendental cosmic unity. Moreover, his conceptions which are recorded in cosmological and philosophical treatises of that time, display a profound influence of a traditional way of dealing with the natural phenomena and human affairs. Cosmos means an ordered and organized universe. Cosmology is the science of the laws governing it. In traditional or purposeful cosmology metaphysical theories are invented to explain the natural phenomena. The man of the Middle Ages estimated that the earth is encircled by the primordial ocean and the sky is composed of spherical layers or skies rotating around a common axis arising from the earth. At the topmost layer ot the sky lies the so-called upper or highest sky (alam al-Ghaib in East, empyrean in West) where God sits on his throne invisible to human eyes and senses. The divine essence in this last sky provides the partition i.e., creation and at the same time unification of all earthly beings. The conceptions of the man of the Middle Ages about the order of the universe are similar to those of the ancient man so, the architectural forms of the pre-lslamic times continued to be used in Islamic architecture. Therefore, a study of meaning on these traditional forms necessiates conceptual generalizations founded on pre-lslamic cosmological concepts. The principal motifs in the biographies (menakibnamah) of the Bektashi sect leaders composed in the 14th and 15th centuries in Anatolia reveal the principal concepts derived from various sources. Of these motifs 10% belong to nature cults, 25% to shamanism, 33% to Far Eastern and Persian cults and %32 to Old Testament. The cosmological concepts prevailed in Persia, India, China, Central Asia and Mesopotamia should be referred to for a better understanding of the connotations of the forms and motifs. The ornamental motifs of the Anatolian Seljukid architecture have been studied by scholars who advanced various views on their origins and meanings. Semra Ögel, who primarily studied the so-called 'star compositions' in the geometrical ornamental designs of the Seljukid portals, pointed the possible correlations between the designs and the Tasavvuf philosophy of the Islamic thinkers of the time. According to her, the natural or abstracted motifs in the decoration of the Seljukid portals signify a 'conception of the universe'. The Vahdet-i Vücud philosophy of ibn al-A'rabi is one of the theological principals behind the motifs. Ögel constitutes views on architectural symbolism in correlating the Asian concept of 'four directions and centre" with the Seljukid madrasas and caravanserais organized on qincunx pattern. Gönül Öney, another expert of Seljukid art, in her early studies attaches profound importance to shamanist cosmology as the primary reference for the concepts signified in animal and human representations. Anthropomorphic motifs in the decoration of Anatolian Seljukid architecture have an astrological significance. In some examples Sun and Moon rosettes coexist with human heads and render them Sun or Moon symbols. The human head symbol is also related to pseudo-planet Djawzahar which is the eight planet symbolized by a dragon with a knotted serpentine body. Moon's ascending and descending nodes are the intersecting diametrical points of Moon's orbit on the ecliptic wheel. These points give the Sun and Moon eclipses which was believed to be caused by a monster or dragon. While the head of this dragon called Rahu, stands for the ascending node of the moon's orbit, its tail called Ketu, represents the descending node. The astrology of the Middle Ages XIV attributes Gemini constellation to the head of the dragon and Sagittarius to its tail and the dragon's head is sometimes represented by a human head. In conformity with the general attitude of attributing secondary meanings to symbols, the human heads of the Seljukid art are probably also related to pseudo-planet Djawzahar. In cosmological and philosophical treatises, in and before the Islamic times, man is regarded as a part and subject of a cosmic unity providing the reconciliation of the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms. In this conception man in his corporal existence is treated as an axis or pole providing a kind of bond between heavenly and earthly domains. As composed of the totality between earth-bound four main elements and divine Intellect, he is a cosmic stature in philosophical treatises. His conspicuous status is probably another reason of the existence of the human figures in Seljukid art. The human heads on the buildings, as primarily planetary and astrological symbols, refer to the notion that the buildings are heavenly structures. The lion as a symbolic motif is usually placed on the entrance gate of the buildings. The lion is a traditional solar animal and symbol of the Sun-god in the ancient Near East. It is the keeper of the Sun Gate through which Sun enters the world. The lion on the portal of the Seljukid buildings in Anatolia most probably continues this main idea as the keeper of the gate of a heavenly abode where God, always identified with Sun or with luminary, resides beyond the human conception. The bull is a world-wide symbol of dark and earthly powers identified with Moon which appears in night. The bull is at the same time a symbol of the Taurus constellation. In Islamic cosmology the bull is the creature which is regarded as supporting the earth on its horns, its coexistence on the monuments with the eagle, the lion and the dragon symbolizes the cosmic reconciliation of the earthly and heavenly domains; because the latter ones are heavenly symbols. In addition, the coexistence or combat of the bull with the lion have an astrological significance. As explained by Willy Hartner once a year the triumphant Lion, standing at zenith and displaying thereby its maximum power, kills and destroys the Bull trying to escape below the horizon, which during the subsequent days disappears in the Sun's rays to remain invisible for a period of forty days, after which it is reborn, rising again for the first time (on March 21) to announce Spring equinox and the advent of the light part of the year. The existence of the bull motif on the monuments can be explained through its function as a complimentary element of the concept of 'cosmic unity' which is reflected in the structure of the buildings as well. Furthermore, the coexistence of the lion and the bull renders the buildings a gate, for the beginning of a new season is described as an entrance to a new world in cosmological treatises. The eagle is another solar, heavenly symbol. Its co-existence with the dragon symbolises the reconciliation of the sky with the earth. The eagle is another symbol of the Sun-gods and keeper of the Sun Gate in ancient Mesopotamia. Its monstrous version Imdugud has been a subject of mythological and cosmological treatises in all historical periods of the Near East. As a composite creature called Simurgh or Zümrüd-ü Anka living behind Kaf mountain, it is a symbol of God's abstract existence and a sign of the spiritual unity accomplished with the divine xv essence. Reinterpreting a widely known notion, Ibn al-A'rabi places the eagle as a symbol of the highest level or rank on top of the sacred tree. The eagle which is usually placed on the entrance section of the Seljukid buildings, correlates the building with the divine essence and renders it a heavenly abode. The dragon as it is stated above is a symbol of the Moon's nodes and the pseudo-planet Djawzahar. It is a symbol of rain clouds and keeper of four directions in China. It dominates sky and waters. In central Asia, the dragon, which is called Kök-luu, symbolizes east, spring, sky and the sacred tree. Encircled around the sky-wheel the dragon (evren) causes its rotation and hence is a symbol of the endless time- cycle. Yunus Emre considers the dragon as a keeper of the city of God (Tanrı şan). The dragon is, on the one hand related to sky, Sun and Moon eclipses and on the other hand to earth, underworld and water. As a part of the sacred-tree compositions which reflect the concept of three layered-universe, the dragon is a symbol of the earth principle. The dragon, when exists on the monuments, renders the building a part of the heavenly order and cyclic time governing the universe. Harpi is an old astronomical symbol which is associated with planet Mercury, pseudo-planet Djawzahar, Gemini and Pisces constellations. In Islamic manuscripts Harpi is represented as a bird living on a legendary island in the east and an anthropomorphic bird called murgh-i adami is related with the legends about the end of the world. Harpi is probably thought as the keeper of the gates of Paradise. The sphinx on the other hand as a solar animal is one of the archaic sepulchral symbols. The Sphinx wheel represents the motions of the Sun. In antique art the sphinx is an embodiment of enigma and is the keeper of an ultimate meaning beyond the understanding of man. When represented in Seljukid minor arts the sphinx symbolizes throne, Sun, endless light, after life and Paradise. In sum, Harpi and the sphinx are solar, heavenly creatures which are related to the realms beyond the perception of man. Their presence on the exterior walls of the Seljukid monuments can be explained through the microcosmic dimension comprised in the buildings. The sacred-tree (sidrat ül-Munteha), as a plant of Paradise, is situated at the end of the sensible world. On the Seljukid monuments the sacred-tree, is a part of a representational composition comprising the eagle, the dragon and the lion as well. These compositions with the eagle on top of the tree as the symbol of the Sky or Sun Gate and with the dragon as the symbol of the earth and underworld, reveals the structure of the concept of three- or four-levelled universe. This structure is at the same time reflected in the monuments through the main architectural forms like the perforated dome (Sky Gate), the cubical substructure (world) and the pool (Gate of the Underworld). Ibn al-A'rabi treats the sacred-tree as the symbol of the last station of his celestial journey (mi'rac) at the end of the seven skies and sensible world. According to him its roots symbolise lower worlds, its branches stand for the sublime worlds, its leaves represent heavenly states and its fruits symbolise sciences and talents governed by these stages. Ibn al-A'rabi interprets the sacred-tree as a symbol of enlightenment. The sacred tree compositions rendered on the entrance part of the Seljukid monuments symbolicaly fix the limits between the sensible (world) and insensible (Heaven) domains, i.e., profane and sacred realms. Hence, the building XVI itself becomes a microcosmic model of a heavenly, macrocosmic archetype. Except for the bull and the eagle motifs, all symbols cover earthly and at the same time heavenly meanings. The eagle is heavenly, the bull on the other hand is an earthly symbol, but their coexistence with other symbols like the dragon and the lion discloses that these motifs too are a part of a general idea of cosmic unity. As a matter of fact the eagle has lion ears which provide its earthly connections like the other symbols. Through these ornamental figures and motifs macrocosmic and micrcosmic dimensions are placed in a kind of harmonius correlation. With their hybrid character and symbolic connotations the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ornamental motifs on the buildings individually combine these two realms. Similarly, the concept of 'cosmic unity' had a total impact on the design of the buildings which symbolicaly reconcile in their structure earthly and heavenly domains. The main idea behind the overall structure of the buildings is the creation of a microcosmos rebuilt after a heavenly macrocosmic model harmonious in all of its parts. The figures and motifs under consideration are primarily set on the portals (inner portals and gates included); secondly on the exterior walls (windows, spouts and towers included) and thirdly on the walls of the enclosed spaces (iwan, riwaq an arches included). The motifs are not organized following a clearly recognizable iconographical scheme applied consistently on all buildings. They are interchangable. The reciprocities and similarities in the meanings of the different motifs probably prevented the invention of a specific iconographical scheme. The systematization of the natural phenomena in man's mind continued from the prehistoric times until the end of the Middle Ages. Man regarded himself as a centre of a cosmic order created by himself. His activities and corporal motions were determined by cosmic time and space conceptions. As a natural result everything he created is necessarily a model of this mental cosmos. Cosmological concepts has been effective in the creation of this model and the meanings which are connoted by these concepts render the forms symbols. The architectural forms of the Anatolian Seljukid architecture should be evaluated from this perspective. The ornamental motifs and figures reflect the elements (stars, constellations, planets, heavenly spheres, upper-sky, the gate of Paradise) of a heavenly, astronomical dimension. The buildings as well with their forms like dome, iwan, portal, courtyard, pool, mihrab etc. transmit the qualities of this extraterrestrial dimension. They comprise the microcosmos and at the same time recreate on earth an image of Heaven which is a macrocosmic plane, in this way they create on earth a 'cosmic unity'. The principal cosmological concepts embodied in the architectural forms are 'four directions and centre', 'layers of the universe', 'Sky or Sun Gate', 'cosmic mountain and ocean' and 'cosmic unity'. The quincux plan is formed under the influence of the concept of 'four cardinal directions' is rendered through the placement of four iwans on the four sides of the madrasa courtyards. In addition, the concept of the 'centre of the world' is represented with a pool at the centre of the madrasas. The Sky Gate on the other hand can be found in the dome of the enclosed-type of madrasas or in the ceiling of the mosques represented through an oculus to provide light to the interior space. The concept of the 'layers of the universe' formed the general lay-out of the mosques and the madrasas which represents the four levelled universe XVII (underworld, world, sky and upper sky). These four levels are embodied by the pool, the floor and the dome with the oculus opening to the upper-sky. In the tomb architecture the basement, the main room, the inner dome and the conical cap on its top replace these elements. The cosmological concept of 'ocean or subterranial waters' is represented in the buildings by a pool at the center of the interior spaces or on the middle of the courtyards. The concept of 'mountain' on the other hand is embodied in the conical hats covering the maqsura dome of the mosque buildings or topping the inner dome of the tombs. The zoomorphic motifs in the decoration of the Anatolian Seljukid buildings are similar to the ones of the Gothic cathedrals of Europe. The inspiration source of these animal motifs on the cathedrals is the Bestiaries which composed of animal stories collected in antiquity by Ctesias, Pliny and Aelian and mystical commentaries added by the early Christians. The zoological works of Islamic writers like Qazwini and Damiri are the counterparts of the Bestiaries in the east. These works and the Bestiaries are the recollections of pre-lslamic and pre-Christian zoological knowledge. For this reason the description of the animals in Islamic writers' books and Bestiaries show similarities. For the Christian theologian of the Middle Ages nature was a symbol and all living creatures were the expressions of God's thought. Similarly, zoological studies of the muslims aimed at the exhibition of Creator's existence through his creation. The Christian writers interpreted the symbols as part of a certain iconography. Damiri and Qazwini in the East did not develop this kind of a specific iconography. The zoomorphic and anthropomorphic symbols are interpreted in the East in an eschatological tradition inherited from the ancient Near East. The main occupation of this tradition was the exposition of a heavenly domain. In this context the Islamic figural art is not in contradiction with the Christian eschatology whose primary interest is the garden of Eden. Not only are the concepts and the symbols similar, but also the meanings attributed to the architectural forms are similar in East and in West. In the Middle Ages church building was a model of the world. The cathedral is built in harmony with the cosmological concept of 'four directions' and the church is an image of Paradise. Cathedral building reproduces the image of Heavenly Jerusalem which is represented in arts as a city inside walls which comprises archangel Gabriel, phoenix and sacred tree. After the concept of 'cosmic unity' sky is identified with the earth in Islamic lore and is represented as a city with a gate, Simurgh and Kaf mountain. Some of the mosque and madrasa buildings of the Anatolian Seljuks are built after this image with double minarets like an entrance to a city and with Simurg as an eagle on top of the sacred tree. The divine harmony in the heavenly spheres which are represented by geometrical ornamentations on the portals and in the domes of the Anatolian Seljukid buildings, were the ideal dimensions for a church as well. The concept of 'Sky Gate' is also found its way to West. Cathedral is a Sky Gate (Porta caeli) providing a passage for the believer to the abode of God. These kind of similarities between the symbolic connotations of the forms in East and West can be attributed to a common Near Eastern spring for cosmological sciences in the Middle Ages. The application of the symbolic figures and motifs on architectural works after the Early Islamic period, seems to be peculiar to Anatolia XVIII and northern Mesopotamia in the 13th century. This can be explained through the development of the Tasavvuf philosophy at the time. Old philosophical and cosmological concepts interpreted by the Islamic philosophers and cosmographers between 9th and 12th centuries were the main motifs of the Sufi writers and poets lived in the 13th century in Anatolia. Tasavvuf philosophy reinterprated the pre-lslamic concepts and adjusted them in a hierarchy of states in which God resides on the uppermost level, and man together with the earth occupies the centre. The motifs and figures in the ornamentation of the buildings symbolize these concepts. The emergence of the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs in the architecture of the Anatolian Seljuks, probably results from the formation period of this philosophy in which old symbols and concepts are Islamicized in the works of the Islamic philosophers. These concepts which can be found in almost all ancient cosmologies, are interpreted by the sufi writers among many others like Muhyiddin ibn el- A'rabi, Shihabuddin Suhrawardi and Mevlana Djelaladdin-i Rumi who were very influential figures on the philosophical currents of the 13th century Anatolia. Old cosmological concepts were known at the time when the principle monuments of the Seljuks were created in Anatolia. Furthermore, their presence and validity is confirmed through the juxtaposition of the architectural forms. In Seljukid art symbolic motifs are applied on small objects and in manuscripts before their application on architectural works. It can be argued that the motifs are transferred from minor arts to architecture and there can not be any semantic specificities between the architectural forms and symbolic motifs borrowed from minor arts. On the other hand, that is a fact that the small objects of the minor arts are also related to the same cosmological concepts which shaped the architectural forms. Table 2 reveals that there is a slightly recognizabte shared tendency in the placement of the symbols on different buildings. This can be interpreted as a sign of the fact that Seljukid artists were aware of an iconographical tradition shaped by cosmological sciences.
Description: Tez (Doktora) -- İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, 1996
Thesis (Ph.D.) -- İstanbul Technical University, Institute of Social Sciences, 1996
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11527/17358
Appears in Collections:Sanat Tarihi Lisansüstü Programı - Doktora

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