Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.
The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...
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 Kaufmann in 1905–7. Further excavations have been directed successively by the Coptic Museum in Cairo (1951), Schläger (1963 and 1964), Wolfgang Müller-Wiener (1965–7) and Peter Grossmann (since 1969).
The earliest archaeological remains date to the late 4th century, although the grave itself was in an older hypogeum. The first martyrium basilica erected over the grave dates to the first half of the 5th century and was rapidly enlarged by various reconstructions and extensions. Around the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries, the Great Basilica was added to the east in the form of a transept-basilica, making it the largest church in Egypt (...
(fl Apulia, c. 1039–41).
Italian sculptor. His name occurs in inscriptions on a marble pulpit in Canosa Cathedral and on the beams of similar pulpits at S Maria, Siponto, and the Sanctuary of S Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo. The inscription on the Canosa pulpit (
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 1043 when the city came under the rule of Asclettino I, Count of Acerenza (d 1045), brother of Ranulph, Count of Aversa (reg 1030–45), and then from 1061 Acerenza was under the control of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia (reg 1059–85). It was at this time that Pope Nicholas II (reg 1058–61) elevated the city to an archbishopric. The first archbishop was Arnaldo, from Cluny, and in 1080, when the relics of St Canius were discovered, he founded a new cathedral in the centre of town, which is now the main monument. In ...
[Hans von Ulm]
(fl Ulm, 1413–61).
German painter. He belonged to an artist family of which several generations were documented in 15th-century Ulm. According to municipal tax lists, ‘Ackerlin, painter’ was a master by 1413. He received payments from the masons’ lodge of Ulm Cathedral from 1415. In 1441 the cathedral lodge in Berne paid ‘Master Hans of Ulm’ for the production and delivery of stained-glass windows: this Hans is identified with Acker (see also Gothic, §VIII, 5). The Berne Passion window (1441; Berne Cathedral, chancel), his only surviving documented work, demonstrates the capabilities of mid-15th-century German glass painting in dealing with box-shaped hall-church interiors. Its Apostle figures still belong to the tradition of the ‘Soft style’, inspired by Bohemian art, while the style of their robes is reminiscent of those in the chancel windows of Ulm Cathedral. The appearance of a landscape background reveals the influence of the glass paintings (c....
Benedictine abbey on the River Enns in Styria, Austria. It was founded in the mid-11th century by Bishop Gebhard from Salzburg, endowed by St Henna von Gurk, Gräfin von Friessach (d 1045), and settled by Benedictine monks from St Peter’s, Salzburg under Abbot Isingrin. The Romanesque minster (consecrated 1074), which was dedicated to St Blaise, was famous for its marble columns and was rebuilt after a fire in 1152; a Gothic choir was added in 1276–86. The present church incorporates Romanesque side doors as well as other fragments. The abbey became an important cultural centre with a renowned scriptorium. Amongst the many famous scholars there was Abbot Engelbert of Admont (reg 1297–1327). From 1121 to the 16th century a convent was attached to the abbey. Under the abbots Mathias Preininger (reg 1615–28) and Urban Weber (reg 1628–59) the whole establishment was transformed in the Baroque style, and the church was rebuilt (...
T. I. Zeymal’
Buddhist monastery of the 7th century
Columnar niche or shrine applied decoratively to a larger building. The word is a diminutive from the Latin word aedes (‘temple’). Summerson traced its application to Gothic architecture and drew attention to the importance of playing at being in a house for all small children; he claimed that this kind of play has much to do with the aesthetics of architecture and leads ultimately to the use of the aedicula. The earliest surviving examples of aediculae are shop-signs from Pompeii, such as that showing Mercury or Hermes emerging from a small building. Later aediculae appear extensively in wall paintings of the Fourth Style (c.
(b Winchester, c.
Aethelwold’s career began at the court of King Athelstan (reg 924–39). After ordination he joined Dunstan’s reformed monastic community at Glastonbury. About 954 he established his own monastic house at Abingdon. According to later tradition, he was a skilled worker in metals and personally contributed to the embellishment of the abbey church. Appointed Bishop of Winchester in 963, he introduced reformed communities into both Old and New Minsters and established a regular monastic life in several other centres, notably Ely, Peterborough and Thorney. He was an enthusiastic patron: the masterpiece of the Winchester School of illumination, the ...
Maria Adelaide Miranda
(fl first half of the 15th century).
Portuguese sculptor. He probably trained in the workshops of Batalha Abbey, where he absorbed the traditions of Coimbra, and he was the leading Portuguese sculptor of his time. In 1439–40 he worked on the tomb of Fernão de Góis in the church at Oliveira do Conde, where a Gothic inscription says that the work was carried out in 12 months by João Afonso, mestre de Sinos. The tomb is in the 14th-century tradition of Mestre Pêro and somewhat archaic in structure, comprising a chest borne by lions, with a recumbent figure on the cover and figures within aedicules at the sides. The treatment is more delicate than in most carving of the time; the arches and columns are slender and elegant, while the figures, with their animated poses and gracefully arranged drapery, are well modelled and show individual character. The same movement is found in the serene angels bearing the chalice in the ...
Lucy Der Manuelian
Island on Lake Van in south-eastern Turkey. It is the site of the church of the Holy Cross (Sourb Khatch), which was built in
According to information in a text of the late 18th century or early 19th and an inscription on the building’s façade now hidden by a gavit’ or assembly hall (1793; see Armenia, Republic of, §II), the church was built by the King’s Armenian architect Manuel (Lalayan, 1910). An anonymous continuator of the 10th-century ...
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 1169 Alfonso VIII, King of Castile (reg 1158–1214) gave the monastery to Retuerta Abbey. The second building phase ended in 1200 and shows influences from Burgos and Navarre even though the building is similar to Cistercian houses such as that at San Andrés de Arroyo, also in the province of Palencia. The third building phase dates to the second and third decades of the 13th century and the style compares to that of the monasteries of Las Huelgas, Retuerta, and Bujedo de Candepajares. It was in this phase that expert Angevin architects as well as local craftsmen proficient in late Romanesque designs worked together....
Site of an obscure Early Christian settlement formerly known as Kilclispeen (St Crispin’s Church) in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The only remains are two outstanding stone crosses and the base of a third (c. 750–900), which are situated in a graveyard below the village. The crosses belong to a well-defined regional group and were constructed of three characteristic elements: a square base with sloping sides, a shaft with an unusually wide ring and a peculiar, rather ill-fitting, conical cap (the latter missing on the south cross). With its capstone, the north cross measures 3.7 m in height. The form of the Ahenny crosses is emphasized by a bold cable ornament along the outer contours. Projecting from the main faces are sculpted bosses, the most prominent feature of the ‘Ahenny school’. The ring and shaft of the crosses are covered with dense patterns of carved ornament, including interlace, spirals, frets, entangled beasts and interlocking men. Much of this decoration can be compared with the metalwork and manuscript illumination of the period, and it appears that the sculptors were in effect transposing altar or processional crosses into stone. With the addition of pigment, the analogy with metalwork would have been complete. In contrast to the shafts and rings, the bases bear figure sculpture in low relief. That on the north cross is best preserved and represents Adam and Eve with the animals in the Garden of Eden, a chariot procession (a theme repeated on other Irish crosses), seven ecclesiastics (possibly symbolizing Christ’s mission to the Apostles) and an enigmatic funeral procession with a headless corpse....
Margaret Lyttleton, Stefan Hiller, R. A. Tomlinson, Reinhard Stupperich, and Melita Emmanuel
Greek island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, mid-way between Athens to the north and Argos to the west. It is almost triangular, occupying c. 85 sq. km. The interior is mountainous, rising to a peak of 531 m, and the soil is largely infertile. Aigina is conspicuously visible from the Athenian port of Peiraeus, although Pericles’ description of it as ‘the eyesore of the Peiraeus’ (Plutarch: Pericles, viii) stemmed from political rivalry rather than its actual appearance. The main modern settlement (Aegina) is in the north-west of the island, occupying part of the site of the ancient town of Aigina, which it has entirely obliterated, apart from the remains of some tombs. Outside the town there are two important sanctuaries, that of Zeus and that of Aphaia, a local goddess. The city-state of Aigina was important in the 7th and 6th centuries
Whitney S. Stoddard
[Lat. aquae mortuae: ‘dead waters’]
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 1246, which exempted inhabitants from taxes. Louis IX (reg 1226–70) conceived of the walled city. He wanted a port to establish a royal presence in, and access to, the Mediterranean, and he needed a fortified town to protect crusaders, pilgrims and merchants, providing a safe haven from which to launch crusades, as well as a commercial centre for trade between the Levant and northern France. The only land available for this purpose lay between that owned by the bishop of Maguelonne and king of Aragon (which included the region around Montpellier) on the west, and Provence controlled by Emperor Frederick II on the east. Negotiations with the Benedictine monks of Psalmodi for the acquisition of land for the walled city began in ...
[Aakirkeby] [Aa church]
Romanesque church in the village of Åkirkeby on the island Bornholm, Denmark. The church, dedicated to St Hans, was constructed in the second half of the 12th century and is the largest church on Bornholm. The oldest parts are the apse, the choir, and the lowest part of the nave. The upper part of the nave and the tower were later additions. The porch dates from the first half of the 13th century and is one of the oldest in Denmark. A greenish sandstone and brownish slate were used for the walls. The nave was constructed with two arcade walls, one running in the middle of the nave from the triumph wall to the tower wall, the other one running from the south entrance to the north entrance. Both were removed during restoration in 1874. In the Middle Ages the church belonged to the chapter at Lund Cathedral and was the seat for one of the canons and was also known as ‘Kapitalskirken’ or the Chapter Church....
Harriet Sonne de Torrens
Ornately carved baptismal font in church of St Hans, Åkirkeby, on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, dating to c. 1200–25 (see Åkirkeby, Å kirke). It is one of more than 25 baptismal fonts attributed to the Sighraf workshop, which was active on the Swedish island of Gotland in the late 12th century and early 13th, and made architectural reliefs, graveslabs, reliquaries, and baptismal fonts for local use and for export to regions in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the northern villages of Germany. Made from Gotland sandstone, the two-piece font stands 845 mm high (without a plinth) and the diameter of the upper basin (including the outside rim) is 795–805 mm.
The remarkable condition of the Åkirkeby font, despite having been whitewashed during the Reformation and carved from a soft stone that easily erodes, demonstrates that this font was carved by a highly skilled stone mason. A sophisticated pictorial cycle ornaments the sides of the upper basin accompanied by a runic inscription that identifies the name of the artist, Sighraf. Runes, in addition to Latin inscriptions, are found on several Scandinavian baptismal fonts, but this is one of the longest known runic verses and is written in a Gotlandic dialect (Wimmer, ...