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Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order....

Article

Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in ...

Article

A. P. Jamkhedkar

Site of a Shiva temple in Maharashtra, India, some 7 km south-east of Kalyan, a suburb of Bombay. An inscription inside the hall records that it was repaired in 1061 (Shaka year 982) by one Mamvaniraja (Mummuniraja) of the Shilahara dynasty, dating the temple to the early 11th century or before....

Article

Angkor  

John Villiers, Guy Nafilyan and Madeleine Giteau

Site in northern Cambodia, in a fertile plain to the north-east of the northern tip of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and near the modern town of Siem Reap. Angkor was the site of almost all the capital cities founded by successive rulers of the Khmer realm from the end of the 9th century ...

Article

Árpád  

János M. Bak

Modern term for the dynasty that ruled Hungary until 1301. Their name is derived from the chief of the Magyar tribal alliance, Prince Árpád (reg 896–907). During the four centuries of their reign (which included 5 princes and 21 kings, half of whom were buried in the now destroyed basilica at Székesfehérvár), the country became a Christian kingdom with a social and political order similar to its western neighbours. The art and architecture of the age was influenced mainly by Italian and French models with some Byzantine elements. The castle (after ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time....

Article

Tania Velmans

Monastery situated on a wooded hill 11 km south of Asenovgrad in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1081 ad by the Georgian donors Grigori and Apazi Pakuriani after they had been granted control over extensive lands in the Rodopi Planina mountains by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos (...

Article

Badami  

Gary Michael Tartakov

Temple site and city in Karnataka, India, that flourished c. ad 542–1600. The most important remains date to the early Chalukya dynasty (6th century to mid-8th), known from the site as the Chalukyas of Badami (see Chalukya, §1). Building activity continued into the Mughal period. Badami is located on the western edge of a rocky plateau near the Malaprabha River. Set in a box canyon around an ancient tank, it first rose to prominence in 542 when it was fortified by the early Chalukyas. In the third quarter of the 6th century four shrines were cut in the south cliff. Caves I and II form a pair and are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu respectively. These were followed by Cave III, the most spectacular of the series. Dated by inscription to ...

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered....

Article

Maylis Baylé

Former Benedictine abbey church in Normandy, France. The oldest Romanesque church in Normandy, Bernay was founded by Judith de Bretagne (d 1017) after 1008, the date of her marriage to Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Completed by the mid-11th century, it had an aisled nave of seven bays, projecting transepts with an eastern apsidal chapel on each arm, and three eastern apses; both the choir and the nave were wooden-roofed. The church (originally ...

Article

Kirit Mankodi

City and temple site in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the modern town of Vidisha. It flourished c. 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad and was the principal city of the Dasarna region in ancient times. Besnagar was established at the confluence of the rivers Betwa (Vetravati) and Bes (Vidisha). The River Bes has given the town its various names through history. Few monuments survive, but vestiges of a substantial rampart remain on the west side of the city, where it is not skirted by rivers, and numerous mounds mark the sites of abandoned habitations and prominent religious structures. Just north of the ruined city is a free-standing pillar (...

Article

Bobbio  

Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

Pilgrimage centres and towns located on the Phalagu (Niranjana) River in Bihar, India. From an early date Gaya has been a site for the performance of śrāddha, rites for recently deceased parents. This ancient tradition and the general sanctity of Gaya in the 5th century...

Article

Rossella Caruso

Italian architect. According to the inscription on his tomb (now set in the northernmost arch of the cathedral façade), he was responsible for the construction of Pisa Cathedral. The verses celebrate his art and technical ability, comparing them with those of the mythical Ulysses and Daedalus, and praise the expertise with which he organized the dangerous transport of the enormous columns by sea and by land, avoiding hostile ambushes and using machines of his own invention that could even be operated by two young girls....

Article

Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

Japanese Buddhist temple in the city of Uji, c. 18 km south of Kyoto. It occupies 1.65 ha of woodland along the western bank of the River Uji. Its ‘mountain name’ (sangō) and identifier prefix is Asahiyama.

Byōdōin is an independent temple affiliated with the Jōdo (Pure land) school of the Tendai sect of Esoteric ...

Article

M. Guardia

Former collegiate church in Catalonia, Spain. The first reference to a church dedicated to St Vincent in Cardona Castle dates to ad 980. By the end of the century the canons were already following the rule established at Aachen, but the crucial stage in the church’s development took place under ...

Article

Neil Stratford

Cluniac abbey, then priory church dedicated to SS Stephen and Fortunatus, in Loire, France. Founded by ad 875 (not 872) in the diocese of Mâcon, the abbey was given to Abbot Odo of Cluny in 932 by Pope John XI; it was reduced to the rank of a priory in the mid-11th century. The priory was suppressed in ...

Article

Chola  

J. Marr

Dynasty in south India that was prominent until the 13th century ad. The Cholas, best known for their patronage of temple architecture, were one of the principal royal lineages of the Tamil country. They are mentioned in the edicts of Ashoka (3rd century bc...

Article

Peter Diemer

Church near Lecco, in Lombardy, Italy. It is famous for its Romanesque stucco and painted decoration. The first reference to a Benedictine monastery at Civate occurs in a Liber confraternitatum of Pfäfers Abbey of c. 845, which lists the names of 35 monks. According to legend, the monastery was founded by ...

Article

Frances Terpak and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye

Former Benedictine abbey in Aveyron, France. Originally dedicated to the Holy Saviour, the monastery was occupied by Benedictine monks from at least ad 801. In 838 Pepin I, King of Aquitaine (reg 817–38), made a donation to Conques stipulating that the monks should move and build a new abbey at Figeac. Later in the century a monk stole the relics of St Faith from Agen, carrying them to Conques, where miracles made the abbey a famous pilgrimage shrine and established its economic growth. Although this ensured the abbey’s continuation, the struggle for supremacy with Figeac lasted until ...