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Article

Icon  

Richard Temple

Wooden panel with a painting, usually in tempera, of a holy person or one of the traditional images of Orthodox Christianity (see fig.), the religion of the Byzantine empire practised today mainly in Greece and Russia (see Early Christian and Byzantine art, §VI...

Article

Oxana Cleminson

Decorative metalwork cover for a Christian icon. The icon cover developed from the ornamental metal plates and silver embossed icons known to have decorated Early Christian altar screens (see Screen, §2). Its appearance and form resulted from a new understanding of the icon and its place in the Orthodox liturgy (...

Article

Icon-covered screen wall of a Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox church, separating the nave from the chancel; for the equivalent in the Western Church see Rood and Screen.

Article

Robert G. Calkins

Enlarged or otherwise accentuated letter that introduces sentences, paragraphs or major divisions of a text. The use of initials, accentuated by size, placement or decoration, evolved in the Late Antique or Early Christian period in conjunction with the growing prevalence of texts written in the codex format. Perhaps as a result of an increased dependence on the authority of the written word occasioned by the growing needs of the Christian Church, combined with a developing sense of the aesthetic and practical requirements of the codex, various devices were invented to mark significant divisions of the text. In the late 4th-century ...

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

City in Tunisia. It was founded in ad 670 by ‛Uqba ibn Nafi‛, the Arab conqueror of North Africa, on the site of a ruined Roman or Byzantine town; the site, slightly elevated above the great interior plain, afforded protection from surprise attacks and floods. In the 9th century Kairouan was the capital of the semi-independent Aghlabid dynasty (...

Article

Susan Young

Byzantine monastery in Cyprus, c. 50 km west of Nicosia. The only information concerning its foundation is that which can be gleaned from the three adjoining churches of the katholikon and their decoration. All are of different date with a narthex common to the central and southern churches. A massive, pitched, timber roof, of a type common among the Cypriot mountain churches, covers the complex....

Article

Liliana Mavrodinova

Village in Bulgaria c. 40 km east of Vratsa. Painted caves on the banks of the adjacent River Iskar were in Byzantine times used as chapels or inhabited by hermits. Two of these chapels are particularly noteworthy: that of St Nicholas, also known as ‘Gligora’, which was built rather than carved from the rock, and the rock-cut chapel (5.50×3.90 m) consecrated to ...

Article

Kildare  

Roger Stalley

Monastic site in Co. Kildare, Ireland. Kildare was one of the great monastic cities of early Christian Ireland and the principal church of the kings of Leinster. Founded by St Brigid (d between 524 and 528), it was unusual in being a double monastery, served by both nuns and monks. In the 12th century it was chosen as a bishopric, and, following the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland, a Gothic cathedral was constructed, probably by ...