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Abbasid  

Robert Hillenbrand

Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between ad 749 and 1258. The Abbasids traced their descent from al-‛Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and were thus able to claim a legitimacy that their predecessors had lacked (see Umayyad, §1). The Abbasids rose to power in north-east Iran by channelling disaffection with Umayyad rule, but they soon established their capitals in a more central location, founding ...

Article

(b Winchester, c. ad 908; d Beddington, Surrey, 1 Aug 984; fd 1 Aug). Anglo-Saxon saint, Church leader, reformer and patron. With Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (reg 959–88), and Oswald, Archbishop of York (reg 972–92), he was the moving spirit behind the English monastic revival of the late 10th century....

Article

Lucien Golvin

Islamic dynasty that governed Tunisia, Algeria and Sicily from ad 800 to 909. The province of Ifriqiya, roughly corresponding to modern Tunisia, had been administered from Kairouan since the Islamic conquest in the 7th century by governors named by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. The caliph authorized one of these governors, Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab (...

Article

L. James

(b ?Constantinople, c. ad 461–3; d Constantinople, c. 527–9). Byzantine patron. As the great-granddaughter of Galla Placidia and daughter of Flavius Anicius Olybrius (Emperor of the West, reg 472) she was the last major figure of the Theodosian house. In 512, during a popular uprising against Emperor Anastasius I (...

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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

I. G. Bango Torviso

Spanish dynasty of rulers and patrons. The 8th- to 9th-century Asturian kingdom on the north-west coast of Spain was the nucleus of resistance to the Muslim invaders. It became organized into a genuine state, with proper ecclesiastical and court systems, in the reign of (1) Alfonso II. Following Alfonso’s victories over the Muslims, the kingdom expanded and consolidated; it was maintained during the reign of ...

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Eric Cambridge

(b Northumbria, ad 628; d Monkwearmouth, 689–90; fd 12 Jan). English saint and patron. He rejected his position as a Northumbrian nobleman prominent in the royal service, and in ad 653 became a pilgrim, making the first of several visits to Rome, and acquainting himself with the leading monasteries of Gaul and Italy, including Lérins in Provence, where he became a monk. Unexpectedly Pope Vitalian ordered him to accompany Archbishop Theodore to Canterbury. On their arrival there in 669, Benedict temporarily became head of the monastery of SS Peter and Paul. His final years were spent in establishing and ruling his own monastic community in Northumbria where, under royal patronage, he founded ...

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German saint, bishop, and patron. He was born into a noble Saxon family, possibly that of a count. At Hildesheim cathedral school he was taught by Thangmar. The Life of St Bernward, begun by Thangmar and completed in 1030–40 by monks from St Michael’s Abbey, Hildesheim, records that Bernward was the secretary of Archbishop Willigis of Mainz (...

Article

Buyid  

Robert Hillenbrand

Islamic dynasty that ruled in Iran and Iraq from ad 932 to 1062. Civil wars, the erosion of caliphal power by a Turkish military caste, corrupt administration and racial tensions during the 9th century terminally damaged the Abbasid state, and gradually the extremities of the empire in North Africa, Spain, Central Asia and Afghanistan established a ...

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In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ...

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H. V. Trivedi

Indian Rajput clan, several branches of which ruled in Rajasthan from medieval times. The earliest Chahamanas originated with Vasudeva, who established himself at Sakambhari, or Sambhar, near Jaipur, in the early 7th century ad. This house came into prominence when one of its scions, Durlabharaja, a feudatory of the ...

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Carol Radcliffe Bolon and K. V. Ramesh

Indian dynasty with sundry branches. Apart from the Chalukyas of Badami (see §1 below) and the later Chalukyas of Kalyana (see §2 below) there was a branch in western India known as the Chalukyas of Gujarat (see Solanki) and a branch known as the Eastern Chalukyas, or Chalukyas of Vengi, who ruled in Andhra in the 7th century ...

Article

Michael D. Willis

Dynasty of Rajputs who ruled parts of northern India from the 9th century to the early 14th. The Chandellas were an important regional house that came into prominence with the decline of the imperial Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty in the mid-10th century. Best-known for their patronage of temple architecture at ...

Article

Frankish emperor and patron (see fig.). By means of political opportunism, military acumen and an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, he expanded the Frankish kingdom to encompass an empire extending from Rome to the English Channel and northwards to beyond the River Elbe. His first experience of the Late Antique world was on his expedition to Italy, to conquer Lombardy, in ...

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Frankish emperor and patron. The grandson of Charlemagne, he was one of the most prolific patrons of the early Middle Ages. He became king of the western portion of the Carolingian empire in ad 843 on the death of his father, Louis the Pious (...

Article

Carol Michaelson

Chinese dynasty that ruled in southern China between ad 557 and 589. It was the last of the so-called Six Dynasties (222–589), who were the ‘legitimate’ successors to the Han dynasty (206 bcad 220) and made Jiankang (now Nanjing) their capital.

In 557 Chen Baxian (later Emperor Wudi; ...

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

Adam S. Cohen

Oldest extant complete Vulgate Bible (505×340 mm; Florence, Bib. Medicea–Laurenziana, MS. Amiatinus 1), produced in Monkwearmouth–Jarrow, Northumbria, around ad 700 at the behest of Abbot Ceolfrid. The Codex Amiatinus is notable for its immense dimensions and size; its 1030 folios likely required over 1500 calves to produce enough parchment. More remarkably, there were three such pandects (single-volume Bibles), one each for the monasteries at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow (only fragments survive), while the Codex Amiatinus was destined for the papacy in Rome (Ceolfrid died on the journey in 716). The script imitates Italian uncial and was based on an exemplar of the 6th century. Bede reports that Benedict Biscop, founder of the double monastery, and Ceolfrid travelled to Italy and returned with books; one was almost certainly Cassiodorus’s Codex Grandior, a 6th-century pandect from Vivarium, now lost. The relationship of the illustrations in the Codex Amiatinus to the Codex Grandior has long been debated. Some of the contents and certainly the style of illustration in the Codex Amiatinus, above all the portrait of ...

Article

Dunstan  

Richard Gem

Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, and patron. He was educated at Glastonbury Abbey, where he was appointed abbot c. 940–46. In 956–7 he was exiled to Ghent. Returning to England he was appointed successively Bishop of Worcester and London in 958 and Archbishop of Canterbury in 959....