Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities
The Effect of Pre-Islamic Persian Textiles on Middle Ages Italian Silk Designs
The silk industry in Europe Started during the era of Roger II of Sicily when North Africa’s silk weavers had been transferred to Palermo; where they formed the basis for the Sicilian silk industry during the 12th-century. The evidence of their cultural influence can be seen even in Roger II embroidered coronation mantle’s Kufic manuscript that many researchers believe in it as a specific Islamic textile design aspect. Although, Islamic weaving and textile design have been considered as a continuation of Sassanid, the Persian pre-Islamic dynasty, textiles by many scholars. In this paper, the similarities and differences of Italian Medieval silk and the historical evidence of Sassanid textiles are investigated through a comparative study. The Result shows some pieces of evidence of 12th-century Italian silks designed with the inspiration of Persian pre-Islamic textile symbols like sphinxes, tree of life in axial symmetry and repeated medallions. This study could be a primary step in the investigation of the role of textiles in the cultural relationship of East and West and the role of Copts, Jews and Muslims in it.
Keywords: Sicilian silk; Sassanid textiles; Textile motifs; Islamic textiles; Persian symbols.