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Chapter Two: Domestic Life in Eighteenth-Century Damascus

The Damascus Room, dated A.H. 1119 / A.D. 1707. Syria, Damascus

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • understand how a reception room from the house of an affluent family in eighteenth-century Damascus reflects the tastes, interests, and life of the urban elite in a provincial city of the Ottoman empire
  • identify key features of this domestic interior and their cultural and artistic significance

The Damascus Room is an early eighteenth-century residential reception chamber (qa'a) from Damascus, a provincial capital of the Ottoman empire.

By the eighteenth century, Damascus was not only one of the most prosperous commercial cities in the empire, but a center of Islamic scholarship and worship.

Courtyard houses traditionally accommodated an extended family, often consisting of three or more generations, as well as domestic servants.

Read in-depth information about featured works of art related to this unit.

A list of resources for additional reading, with grade levels indicated

A list of sources used to compile the information in this unit

Unit Six: Chapter Two Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: Domestic Life in Eighteenth-Century Damascus

Students will be able to understand how a reception room from the house of an affluent family in eighteenth-century Damascus reflects the tastes, interests, and life of the urban elite in a provincial city of the Ottoman empire; and recognize ways interiors from different time periods and places (including their own) reflect the personal tastes, interests, and values of their inhabitants.

The Damascus Room

The lesson plan related to Domestic Life in Eighteenth-Century Damascus features the Damascus Room.