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Patsy Vanags

Site of a Roman temple incorporated into an Early Christian or early medieval church, c. 15 km north of Spoleto, Italy. The River Clitumnus, with its numerous springs, was sacred in Roman times, and there were many shrines along its course. Spolia from these may have been used in the existing structure. It has some traits in common with Roman temples, most notably its four-columned façade with a pediment above. The framing of the columns with two apparently contemporary square section columns is uncommon, but other aspects of its design mark it out as an Early Christian building (4th or 5th century ...


Margaret Graves

Capital city and principal seaport on the North African coast of Libya. Founded in the 7th century bce by the Phoenicians, the site was occupied successively by the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines before being conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century. After many centuries of complex governance passing between various dynasties, Tripoli became almost independent for much of the 15th century. Taken briefly by the Spanish in the 16th century, the city was then occupied by the Ottomans in ...


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 ...


John Lowden

Byzantine illuminated manuscript (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., cod. theol. gr. 31), attributed to the 6th century ad. Since the late 19th century it has been one of the most intensely studied Byzantine manuscripts. Only a fragment of the original survives, consisting of 24 single leaves of purple-dyed parchment, varying in size between 307×250 mm and 333×270 mm. Each page is divided approximately in half, with the biblical text of Genesis written entirely in silver in the upper part, and an accompanying miniature (48 in total) in the lower part (...



Henri Metzger and Thorsten Opper

Site in south-west Turkey, once the principal city of ancient Lycia. Xanthos flourished from the 7th century bc to Byzantine times, and its ruins occupy an impressive situation on a steep cliff above the River Xanthos near the modern village of Kınık. Inside the ancient city walls the two main areas are the Lycian acropolis and above this the later, Roman acropolis. Exploration of the site began in the mid-19th century after its rediscovery by the English traveller and archaeologist Sir ...


Dimitris Tsougarakis

Greek archaeologist and art historian . He graduated from the School of Philosophy at the University of Athens in 1924. From 1928 until 1930 he studied Byzantine art at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris under Charles Diehl and Gabriel Millet, gaining his doctorate in ...


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 (...


Virginia Roehrig Kaufmann

Term used to describe the predominant painting style in German-speaking regions during the 13th century, derived from its characteristic zigzag or ‘broken-fold’ drapery forms. Its early development was largely due to the influence of Byzantine painting on German artists in the north-east (Lower Saxony, Saxon–Anhalt, and Thuringia). But in copying the Byzantine draperies, the northern artists exaggerated the patterns with decorative and expressive force, at the expense of the human forms beneath. Zigzagging drapery folds emphasize movement and lend the garment dynamic energy, as if it has a life of its own. Early examples include the Psalter (Stuttgart, Württemberg. Landesbib., MS. Bibl., fol. 24) made for Landgraf ...



Vladimir Peter Goss

Port city in Croatia. A Liburnian Bronze Age fortress on a well-protected peninsula, a major Roman city, and the capital of Byzantine Dalmatia, Zadar was hotly contested between Croatian rulers and Venice throughout the later Middle Ages. During the 15th century it became part of the Venetian Empire and was known as Zara....