The Bazaar: Markets and Merchants of the Islamic World

The Bazaar: Markets and Merchants of the Islamic World

by Walter Michael Weiss, Kurt-Michael Westerman
     
 
This sumptuously illustrated journey through the bazaars in the old Islamic cities of the Orient shows how little they have changed since the Middle Ages. First the origins of the bazaar, its roots in the markets of ancient times, and the early Islamic fortresses and caravanserais are examined. Then the path of goods, carried by the trader's indispensable companion,

Overview

This sumptuously illustrated journey through the bazaars in the old Islamic cities of the Orient shows how little they have changed since the Middle Ages. First the origins of the bazaar, its roots in the markets of ancient times, and the early Islamic fortresses and caravanserais are examined. Then the path of goods, carried by the trader's indispensable companion, the camel, is traced along legendary caravan routes like the Silk, Incense, and Amber Roads. After describing the everyday workings of the bazaar, the book focuses on traditional trades and crafts, including gold and sugar traders' markets, and the workshops of lute makers, fabric painters, glassblowers, and coppersmiths. We watch Persian carpet makers, perfumers, miniature painters, and calligraphers at work and meet people whose exotic trades are now dying out: sword, dagger, and fire makers, water sellers, magicians, storytellers, and silk weavers. More than a dozen of the finest and most important bazaars—including Marrakesh, Fez, Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, Istanbul, Isfahan, Sanaa, and Samarkand—are described in full and illustrated. With its detailed maps and plans, this book is an invaluable source of information for travelers to the Islamic world as well as for anyone intrigued by the "city within a city," one of the most mysterious and enduring forms of Islamic life.

Author Biography: Walter M. Weiss has been editor of Ikarus, Skylines, and Diners Club Magazine. He has written for many other publications and is the author of several cultural and travel guides. Kurt-Michael Westermann's photographs have been featured in magazines, books, and numerous international exhibitions.

Editorial Reviews

Raymond Sokolov
Evocative portraits of Middle Eastern centers. —Wall Street Journal
Carlin Romano
[A] truly spectacular tour through the markets of Marrakech, Fez, Aleppo, Istanbul, and more. —Philadelphia Inquirer
Library Journal
Travel writer Weiss and photographer Westermann combine their talents to produce a stunning tour of the bazaars of the old Islamic cities. The uniquely Islamic bazaar, explains Weiss, is "a city within a city, with its own economy and way of life and a spiritual background from which western society has a great deal to learn." The philosophy of the bazaar affects and is affected by religion, social customs, architecture, and the availability of water. To understand the concept of the bazaar, Weiss begins with a brief history of trade, its existence from earliest times, the effects of Mohammed's teachings, the four major trade routes, and a history of the camel and its place in Arab society. A section on shopkeepers and their goods covers history, their techniques, and the effects of modern life on their livelihood. Finally, brief visits to 15 of the great bazaars point out the qualities that makes each unique. A beautiful book without any real competition that will be of use for most collections.--Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500018392
Publisher:
W W Norton & Co Inc
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 12.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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