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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

Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in ...

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Almohad  

Karl-Heinz Golzio

Islamic dynasty that ruled parts of north-west Africa and Spain from 1130 to 1269. Muhammad ibn Tumart (d 1130), a Masmuda Berber, preached a faith based on the Koran and the Sunna, stressing above all the oneness of God (Arab. tawḥīd), a doctrine from which the movement took the name al-Muwaḥḥidūn (‘believers in the oneness of God’). Ibn Tumart, who declared himself also as the infallible Mahdí, was able to unite disparate groups of Berbers and in ...

Article

Karl-Heinz Golzio

Islamic dynasty that ruled parts of the Sahara, Morocco, Algeria and Spain from 1056 to 1147. The Sanhaja Berber chief Yahya ibn Ibrahim, on returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, founded a reform movement intended to strengthen orthodoxy among the Saharan Berbers, who were only superficially Islamisized, but according to many Arab historiographers they adhered to Kharijite doctrine. With the support of the Malikite jurist Ibn Yasin and the Lamtuna Berber chiefs Yahya ibn ‛Umar and his brother Abu Bakr, a fortress for a Muslim brotherhood (Arab. ...

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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

Artuqid  

Islamic dynasty that ruled in south-east Anatolia from 1098 to 1408. The Artuqids were descendants of a Turkoman military commander in the service of the Saljuq dynasty; his family settled in Diyarbakır and carved out two principalities, one in Diyarbakır and the other in Mardin and Mayyafariqin. The branch in Diyarbakır fell to the ...

Article

Debra Higgs Strickland

Richly illustrated bestiary manuscript (275×185mm, 105 fols; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Ashmole 1511), written in Latin and illuminated probably in southern England around 1210. The original patron is unknown. It contains the text and illustrations of a complete bestiary, with prefatory Creation scenes and excerpts from Genesis and part of Hugh de Folieto’s ...

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....

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Ayyubid  

Islamic dynasty that ruled 1169–1252 in Egypt, 1180s–1260 in Syria and south-east Anatolia, and 1174–1229 in the Yemen, with minor branches continuing until the end of the 15th century. The Ayyubids were the Kurdish clan brought to power in 1169 by Salah al-Din (Saladin; reg...

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English archbishop, saint and patron. He was born of bourgeois stock and trained at the schools of Paris. Early in his career he showed a taste for beautiful objects: while still a clerk in the service of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury (reg 1138–61), he had an antique gem with a naked Mercury set for use as his private seal (impression in London, N. Archvs). Garnier of Pont-Sainte-Maxence testifies that Becket’s collection of jewels was seized by his murderers. As Chancellor of England (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Italian patron. She is now recognized as an extremely influential patron. Her prominence is well documented in the Vita Mathildis (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Lat. 4922), the illuminated biography completed in 1111–12 by her chaplain Donizo. He labelled her ‘the worthy daughter of Peter’, and she is best known for her politics as the staunchest papal supporter in the Investiture Dispute. She was also interested in Cluniac reform. By donating her extensive possessions to the Church, she not only strengthened the Papacy but also helped north Italian cities (especially those under her influence in Emilia-Romagna) in their struggle for independence from the Empire. Matilda’s status as the first promoter of the Italian city-state (...

Article

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 ...

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 ...

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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

Richard Fawcett

Scottish monarch and patron. He was the sixth and youngest son of Malcolm III (reg 1058–93) and St Margaret (1045–93) and the third of those sons to succeed to the throne of Scotland. After c. 1093 he was educated mainly at the English court. In ...