A Symbol of Power, Prestige and Wealth
A tent is basically a shelter. And when man began to put down roots and created his shelter and domicile out of mud bricks, stone or wood he eventually began to create majestic buildings. This migration from tents to solid structures did not mean the end of tents. For just as buildings grew and became more elaborate so did tents. Alexander the Great had a tent constructed for the wedding of a friend which was suspended among 50 columns. The enormity of it along with the elaborate decor secured its place in history, sometimes called the “Cosmic Tent” (because of the elaborately decorated underside of the tent) or the “World Tent of Alexander.”
So awe-inspiring was Alexander’s tent that its design was later replicated by Nero and Byzantine emperors in their throne rooms.
When Marco Polo traveled to China he was received in the “Great Tent of the Khan” (as in Kublai Khan). The Khan’s tent was so enormous it was said to be large enough to house over a thousand people.