The Casket of Hisham and its Epigraphy

Ana Labarta

Abstract


The casket now in the Museum of the Cathedral of Girona is an unparalleled piece of silversmithing from the Caliphate of Cordoba. It is a unique object both because of the historical information it provides and due to its artistic value. It was commissioned by al-Ḥakam II as a gift for his son, the future Caliph Hišām II, and it can be dated to 976 or a little earlier. This essay offers for the first time the complete reading of its external dedicatory inscription, and it also includes an extensive historiographic review of the studies devoted to it. The names mentioned in the casket inscriptions are then discussed, as well as the date of its production and its possible use. The author raises some of the questions suggested by this object that need to be further researched, as its appearance in Girona in the 19th century without evidence about its provenance.


Keywords


Silversmithing; Caliphate; 10th c.; al-Ḥakam II; Arabic epigraphy; casket of Hišām; Girona;

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