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Aachen  

Charles B. McClendon, Rosamond D. McKitterick and Joachim E. Gaehde

City in Nordrhein-Westfalia, Germany. It was the birthplace and residence of Charlemagne, ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, and remained associated with German rulers throughout the Middle Ages; most Holy Roman emperors were crowned there until 1531. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century ad...

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Abarquh  

Iranian town in northern Fars province. A prosperous centre in medieval times, by the 10th century it was fortified with a citadel and had a congregational mosque. The octagonal tower of mortared stone known as the Gunbad-i ‛Ali was erected, according to its inscription, by a Daylamite prince in ...

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Malcolm Higgs

Scottish city situated on the east coast of the estuary of the River Dee and River Don. The city centre is divided into two historic parts of distinct character: Old Aberdeen and New Aberdeen. Old Aberdeen is dominated by St Machar’s Cathedral and King’s College (est. ...

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Peter Grossmann

Site of a Christian city and pilgrimage centre in the Maryūt Desert, c. 45 km south-west of Alexandria, Egypt. It grew up around the shrine of St Menas, who was martyred during the persecution of the Christians instigated by Diocletian (reg 285–305). The ancient name of the site is not known, and the position of the saint’s grave had been long forgotten until, according to legend, several miracle cures led to its rediscovery. The place then quickly developed into an increasingly major centre of pilgrimage where, among other things, the so-called Menas ampules were manufactured as pilgrim flasks and achieved particular renown. The first excavations of the site were undertaken by ...

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Pina Belli D’Elia

Town and commune in the province of Potenza, southern Italy. Known for its strategic position on top of a rocky hill, it was a Roman colony and subsequently coveted by Byzantines, Goths, and Lombards. During this time it was under the authority of Benevento, and later on Salerno. It was conquered in ...

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Valerie A. Clack

Australian city and capital of the state of South Australia. It is situated on the banks of the River Torrens, between the Mt Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent in the south-eastern part of the continent. The city (population c. 1 million) is noted for its fine colonial ...

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Agra  

R. Nath

City and administrative seat of the district of the same name, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Situated on the Yamuna River in the fertile north Indian heartland, it is 200 km south of Delhi and 55 km south of the ancient city of Mathura. A centre of Mughal culture and government in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra has numerous monuments of that period, including the famed Taj Mahal (...

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José Luis Hernando Garrido

Spanish town in the province of Palencia. The chief monument in the town is the monastery of S María la Real, which lies on the banks of the River Pisuerga, close to the Cantabrian Mountains. It is in the former diocese of Burgos, and is typical of other foundations of the Premonstratensian Canons regular. The oldest parts of the monstery, which date to the 1160s, still show evidence of superb workmanship. During this time the church was built to the height of the transept and had a covered cloister. In ...

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R. N. Mehta, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

City in western India, until 1970 the state capital of Gujarat.

Remains of bones and tools indicate occupation in the area around Ahmadabad during the second millennium bc. The earliest permanent settlement, called Ashaval after its founder Asha Bhil, was established on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River in the 8th century ...

Article

Whitney S. Stoddard

Town in Gard, southern France, in the north-western section of the Rhône Delta or Camargue. It is one of the largest surviving medieval fortified towns. Although documents show that there was a port on the site of Aigues-Mortes in the late 12th century and first third of the 13th, the town was officially not founded until the Charter of ...

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Nicole Martin-Vignes

French spa and university city, capital of Provence from the 14th to the 19th centuries. It is situated in the Arc Valley c. 30 km north of Marseille and has a population of c. 125,000. The capital of the Celtic Salluvians, Entremont, was destroyed in ...

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Ajmer  

Asok Kumar Das

City in Rajasthan, India, that flourished from c. 12th century. Ajmer was an important centre of Jainism in the 8th century, but it was not until c. 10th century that the area came into prominence under the Chahamanas (Chauhans) of Shakambhari. King Ajayapala is said to have founded the city in the 12th century, naming it Ajayameru after himself. He is also credited with building the now ruined hilltop fort called Taragarh. His son and successor ...

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Aksum  

Francis Anfray

Capital of the ancient kingdom of Aksum, in the modern Tigray Province of Ethiopia, c. 600 km north of Addis Ababa. It flourished between the 1st and 8th centuries ad. The modern town occupies part of the site, which faces south over a fertile plain at the foot of a flat-topped hill, Mt Beta Giyorgis. The ancient city’s importance is attested by the many monuments scattered throughout the modern town, including huge stelae and throne bases, broken pillars, inscriptions and royal hypogea. The first extensive investigations were undertaken in ...

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Suzana More Heitel

Romanian city in Transylvania. It was founded on the site of the Roman fort and settlement of Apulum, the ruins of which include a palace with mosaics. The nucleus of the medieval city is the fortress situated on a terrace of the River Mureş. In the south-east of the fortress four churches were built. The first, a rotunda partially preserved in the present Roman Catholic ...

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Albenga  

Franz Rickert

Italian town and bishopric, 72 km south-west of Genoa. It was a port in the Roman period, and its street grid-plan has partly survived, but, with the silting of the River Centa, it is now 1 km inland. Pottery and sections of the hull of a merchant ship that sank offshore ...

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Albi  

Richard A. Sundt

French city and capital of the south-eastern département of Tarn. The wedge-shaped quarter known as Castelviel, on the south bank of the River Tarn and directly west of the cathedral (see §1 below), constitutes the oldest part of the city, originally a Celtic settlement. Although important during Gallo-Roman times as a distribution centre for local agricultural goods, Albi developed formal urban institutions only in the 6th century ...

Article

Luciana Arbace

Italian centre of ceramic production. The town, situated near Savona in Liguria, was a flourishing centre of maiolica production during the Renaissance. It was, however, only during the 17th and 18th centuries that a distinctive style developed. Important families in the pottery business included the ...

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Miguel A. Castillo

Spanish city in Castile, 30 km east of Madrid. It lies on the site of the Roman city of Complutum and a subsequent Moorish fortification, the castle (Arab. al-Kalá) of Qal‛at ‛Abd al-Salám. A small Mozarabic settlement developed here at the supposed site of the martyrdom of SS Justus and Pastor. From the 13th century Alcalá was the country retreat of the archbishops of Toledo; its considerable growth during the Middle Ages was due partly to Archbishop ...

Article

Judith McKenzie, Gordon Campbell, R. R. R. Smith, Wiktor A. Daszewski, A. H. Enklaar, Dominic Montserrat, C. Walters and Wladyslaw B. Kubiak

Reviser Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Egyptian city situated on the Mediterranean coast west of the delta of the River Nile, capital of Egypt from c. 320 bc to ad 642, seaport and centre of ancient Greek culture.

Alexandria was founded in 331 bc by Alexander, on the site of the small Egyptian settlement of Rhakotis. Its location, with access by canal to the River Nile, enabled it to become an important and highly prosperous trading centre, and by ...

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Algiers  

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Capital and largest city in Algeria, located on the west side of a bay opening onto the Mediterranean Sea. The site was already settled in Phoenician times, as shown by a hoard of Punic coins found near the port in 1940. The ruins of the Roman settlement known as Icosium are said to have existed until the 10th century when the ...