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Article

Mary Gough

Early Christian monastery on the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Isauria, part of the Roman province of Cilicia in south-western Turkey. It is some 300 m above the main road between Silifke (anc. Seleucia) and Konya (anc. Iconium), 21 km north of Mut (anc. Claudiopolis). From two funerary inscriptions, pottery and coins, the monastery may be securely dated to the reigns of two Isaurian emperors, Leo (...

Article

Stephen Mitchell

Greek and Roman city in western Asia Minor (now Turkey) on a plateau above Yalvaĉ. It was founded by the Seleucids in the 3rd century bc and refounded as a colony for veteran soldiers by Augustus c.25 bc; it flourished until the Early Christian period. The site was excavated in ...

Article

Asinou  

Susan Young

Byzantine church in Cyprus, situated on the west side of the island, 4 km south-west of the village of Vizakia. The church was originally part of the monastery of the Phorbia (destr.), and a marginal note in a synaxarion copied in Cyprus or Palestine in ...

Article

Seton Lloyd

Ancient settlement around the upper reaches of the Büyük Monderes (Meander River), near Çivril in Turkey, that flourished during the Bronze Age (c. 3500–1200 bc) and was briefly reoccupied in the Early Christian period. The imposing ruin mound, with twin summits, was excavated (...

Article

Bursa  

Çigdem Kafesçioglu

City in north-west Turkey. Located on the northern foothills of Mysian Olympus (Mt Ulu Dağ), the ancient city of Prusa was a spa town of note and the capital of Bithynia. The city prospered under Roman and Byzantine rule and changed hands frequently between Christians and Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. In ...

Article

British writer and traveller. His travels in Greece in 1925–7 resulted in two books, The Station and The Byzantine Achievement, in which he presented readers brought up on the culture of Classical antiquity with a novel view of the importance of the civilization of Byzantium and the seminal influence of its art on the later development of European painting. In ...

Article

Clare Harris and M. E. Heston

City on the coast of Kerala, India. Facing the Arabian Sea, Cochin experienced strong contacts with Europe and other parts of Asia from early times, and signs of Portuguese, Chinese, Jewish, early Christian, Dutch and British influence are evident everywhere.

St Thomas the Apostle is said to have visited the area in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

Austrian historian of Byzantine, Islamic and Indian art. He studied art history and archaeology at the universities of Vienna and Graz and in 1902 completed his doctorate at Graz under Josef Strzygowski and Wilhelm Gurlitt, a study of the paintings in a manuscript of Dioskurides’ ...

Article

Rahmi Hüseyin Ünal

Small town in central Anatolia (Turkey), c. 100 km south-east of Sivas. Founded in the mid-9th century ad and known as Tephrikè to the Byzantines, the town was taken by the Saljuqs of Rum after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. In the 12th century it came into the possession of the Mangujak (Mengüček) Turkomans, under whom several remarkable buildings and fortifications were erected. The Kale (‘citadel’) Mosque, constructed for the Mangujak sovereign ...

Article

Erzurum  

Lale Babaoğlu

City in eastern Turkey. Located on the main route between Iran and Turkey, it has been an important military and commercial centre since antiquity. Possession of the city passed between the Byzantines, who knew it as Theodosiopolis, and the Arabs, who called it Arz(an) al-rum (‘Arz(an) of the Byzantines’) after a nearby commercial centre. In ...

Article

Iznik  

Mark Whittow and Çiğdem Kafesçioğlu

Turkish town in the eastern bay of Lake Iznik (anc. Ascania), with important Byzantine and early Ottoman remains. The earliest settlements on the site date to the 1st millennium bc. In 316 bc Antigonos Monophthalmos, a general of Alexander the Great, expanded the existing town and called it Antigonia. It was conquered by ...

Article

Lucy Der Manuelian and Armen Zarian

Site located in the village of Aparan, Armenia, which includes ruins of a palace and Early Christian basilica (4th–5th centuries). The site is first mentioned by Ptolemy as ‘Casala’ and later became part of the Nig region of the historic province of Ayrarat. A Greek inscription by King Trdat III (...

Article

Maskana  

J.-C. Margueron

Small town in north Syria on the south bank of the River Euphrates near an ancient site known in antiquity as Emar, in Byzantine times as Barbalissos and in Islamic times as Balis. It lay on an ancient trade route between the Mediterranean, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The site was excavated in ...

Article

Mosul  

Saeed Al-Dewachi

City in northern Iraq. Located on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient city of Nineveh, Mosul is surrounded by fertile plains. It replaced Nineveh under Byzantine rule and was conquered in ad 637 by Muslim Arabs, who used it as a base from which to conquer Azerbaijan and Armenia and as an important entrepôt for overland trade between Iran and Syria. It served as the capital of the Hamdanid (...

Article

J.-P. Sodini

Early Christian pilgrimage centre built in the 5th century ad, 30 km north-west of Aleppo, northern Syria. This architectural complex, situated on a hilltop in the Jabal Sim‛an, and dedicated to St Simeon the Stylite, ranked with St John at Ephesos and Abu Mina in Egypt among the major centres of pilgrimage in the eastern Mediterranean outside the Holy Land. It was built around the column (originally 16–18 m high) on which St Simeon (...

Article

Rusafa  

Thilo Ulbert

Site of an ancient city in northern Syria c. 200 km east of Aleppo and 30 km south of the River Euphrates, with both Byzantine and Islamic remains. Although it was known from earlier travellers’ reports, full descriptions of the monuments were not published until the early ...

Article

Sivas  

Rahmi Hüseyin Ünal

City in central Anatolia (Turkey). Following the defeat of the Byzantines by the Saljuqs of Rum at Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantine city of Sebastea became the capital of a Danishmend Turkoman principality in northern Cappadocia and Pontus. Now known as Sivas, it was absorbed by the Saljuqs in the 12th century and by the Ilkhanids of Iran in the 13th. Sivas was the capital of the Uighur chief Eretna from ...

Article

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

French term used to describe artefacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire. Specific motifs, borrowed from the original Turkish carpets, included arabesques or stylized flowers and vegetal scrolls and decorative animal forms—also included within the generic term ‘grotesques’—from the Renaissance onwards. From the Middle Ages inventories and accounts record objects ...

Article

Lucy Der Manuelian and Armen Zarian

Ruins of an Early Christian basilica dating from the 5th century ad to the early 6th, near the village of Ani-Pemza, Armenia, south-east of the border with Turkey and c. 10 km south of Ani. An Armenian inscription (probably 7th century) on the north wall of the apse identifies the church as the martyrium of the Forerunner (Karapet). A Greek inscription (6th–7th centuries) and several others in Armenian (...