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Article

May Vieillard-Troïekouroff

(b Lyon, c. ad 432; d Clermont, c. 486; fd 21 Aug). Gallic saint, writer and bishop. He came from a senatorial family in Lyon and was married at the age of 20 to the daughter of the future emperor, Avitus (reg ad...

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Dorothy Verkerk

Illuminated manuscript of the first five books of the Old Testament (now incomplete), dating from the late 6th or early 7th century (Paris, Bib.N., MS. nouv. acq. lat. 2334) and named after the English collector Bertram Ashburnham. Also known as the Pentateuch of Tours, the Ashburnham Pentateuch is one of the oldest surviving pre-Carolingian Vulgate manuscripts of the Old Testament. In its present condition, it lacks the last verses of Numbers and all of Deuteronomy; while 18 pages of illustration and 1 frontispiece survive from the original 65 pages with illustrations. The illustrated pages comprise several scenes generally arranged in two or three bands, although some pages have one or two large scenes, others combine illustration and text. Painted ...

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

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

Cicero  

Valerie Hutchinson Pennanen

Roman orator, statesman, philosopher and patron. His reverence for the past was reflected in both his public and private life. Having studied in Greece and apparently read at least one treatise on Greek art (see Brutus xviii.70), he was familiar with the work of the greatest Greek artists and alluded to Myron, Polykleitos, Pheidias, Lysippos, Apelles and to Greek art in general throughout his writings. That he was an avid collector is revealed by his ...

Article

Sarah Morgan

(b c. ad 265; d c. ad 340). Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, church historian and prominent supporter of Constantine the Great. Eusebios studied under the learned presbyter Pamphilus (c. 240–309), whose name he adopted, in Caesarea, an important centre of Christian learning since the time of Origen (...

Article

Stephen T. Driscoll

Scottish royal centre in Perthshire, which reached its zenith in the late Pictish period (8th–9th centuries ad) and is the source of an assemblage of high quality ecclesiastical sculpture. Occupying the fertile heart of Strathearn, Forteviot has been more or less in continuous use as a ceremonial centre since the 3rd millennium ...

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T. F. C. Blagg

Roman administrator and writer. He was a senatorial aristocrat. During his early career he served as governor of Britain (ad 74–8). His conquest of Wales led to the establishment of Caerleon and Chester as permanent legionary fortresses. He was probably responsible for initiating the programme of Roman urban development in Britain for which Tacitus (...

Article

Dai Kui  

Weihe Chen

Chinese sculptor, painter and philosopher. At an early age he studied with the famous Confucian scholar Fan Xuan, however, despite being influenced by Confucianism, he never took up an official position, instead he adopted a policy of withdrawing from society, admiring nature and advocating a simple way of life. He was a prolific author and developed the Confucian monastic tradition of ...

Article

Susan Pinto Madigan

Saint, pope, writer, and patron. He was dedicated to maintaining the unity of the church against such heretics as the Pelagians, the Manichaeans, and the Priscillianists, as is clear from his numerous sermons and letters (see Christianity, §III, 3, (i)). His reforms included maintaining strict ecclesiastical discipline at a time when barbarian culture threatened the stability of the Church in Rome. As an active patron of the arts, Leo funded the construction of a basilica over the grave of Pope Cornelius (251–3) on the Via Appia; he restored and redecorated S Paolo fuori le mura (395–408) after its roof collapsed in 441, even persuading ...

Article

Dominic Montserrat

(b Samosata, c. ad 120; d before 180). Author, writing in Greek, of North African birth. Towards the end of a prolific literary career, around 163 ad, he wrote the Imagines (Gr. Eikones), a panegyric couched in dialogue form, which is one of several texts surviving from the age of the Second Sophistic that include extensive descriptions of works of art (...

Article

Ovid  

Willem F. Lash

(b Sulmo [now Sulmona, Abruzzi], 20 March 43 bc; d Tomis [now Constanţa, Romania], ad 17–18). Roman poet. His work is an important source for mythological subjects in Western visual art. He studied in Rome and held minor judicial posts there before becoming a poet. For two decades he was the leading poet in Rome, but in ...

Article

Mark D. Fullerton

Greek sculptor and writer from South Italy. He is generally regarded as the head of a school producing eclectic, neo-classical statuary related to Neo-Attic decorative reliefs. Virtually everything known about Pasiteles is derived from a few literary references. No signatures of his are extant, although a marble statue of a youth (...

Article

R. L. P. Milburn

(b Bordeaux, ad 353; d Nola, 431; fd 22 June). Saint, bishop and writer. By birth he was a Gallic aristocrat who later renounced public life and secular literature under the combined influences of ascetic piety and fear of becoming involved in political turmoil. In 395 he settled at Nola (...

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R. L. P. Milburn

Spanish writer. Born into an élite family, he gave up a successful career in the civil administration to devote himself to the dissemination of Christian doctrine through his Latin Christian poetry and hymns. His verse is modelled on that of Virgil, Horace, and other Classical poets and shows a command of various metres; he is often acclaimed as the chief Christian poet of the early period. Loyalty to the Church, however, failed to quench his admiration for ancient Rome or an awareness of beauty in pagan art forms....

Article

John Onians

(b Calagurris [now Calahorra], Spain, c. ad 40; d c. ad 100). Roman rhetorician, writer and teacher. He was educated in Rome, where he studied rhetoric with the orator Domitius Afer; he later returned to the capital in ad 68, becoming himself a highly successful teacher before being appointed by the Emperor Vespasian (...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....

Article

Terence  

Elizabeth Sears

Roman writer. His six comedies, composed between 166 bc and 160 bc for performance before a Roman public, were admired for the purity and elegance of their Latin and became school texts, destined to be read and studied, quoted and imitated long after they had ceased to be performed. Over 700 manuscripts (5th–15th centuries ...

Article

Eugene Dwyer, Peter Kidson and Pier Nicola Pagliara

(fl later 1st century bc). Roman architect, engineer and writer, renowned for his treatise in ten books, On Architecture (Lat. De architectura), the only text on architectural theory and practice to have survived from Classical antiquity.

Eugene Dwyer

Vitruvius is known in the earliest manuscripts of ...

Article

( fl Athens, c. 280 bc). Greek sculptor and writer. Though none of his work has survived, three statue bases signed by a Xenokrates and dating from the early 3rd century bc are extant. According to Pliny (Natural History XXXIV.lvxxxiii) he was a pupil either of ...