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John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of aquamanilia is associated with Mosan art of the Meuse Valley in northern France, and with Lower Saxony in north-east Germany. The majority of surviving examples are made of a variety of bronze that resembles gold when polished, while nearly all those made of precious metals are known only from church inventories.

Church documents refer to aquamanilia as early as the 5th century, when canon regulations stipulated that on ordination the subdeacon should receive such a vessel. Various documents from the 5th century to the beginning of the 11th sometimes use the term to denote both the ewer and its basin. Sometime after the beginning of the 11th century the term became transferred to a type of vessel, usually in the shape of an animal (e.g. lion, stag, horse; ...



János M. Bak

Modern term for the dynasty that ruled Hungary until 1301. Their name is derived from the chief of the Magyar tribal alliance, Prince Árpád (reg 896–907). During the four centuries of their reign (which included 5 princes and 21 kings, half of whom were buried in the now destroyed basilica at Székesfehérvár), the country became a Christian kingdom with a social and political order similar to its western neighbours. The art and architecture of the age was influenced mainly by Italian and French models with some Byzantine elements. The castle (after 1241, archiepiscopal palace) in Esztergom has significant remains from the 10th to 12th centuries. It was excavated and partly restored in the early 21st century. The west door, the porta speciosa of Esztergom Cathedral is decorated with marble intarsia in a French-influenced, Byzantine style (c. 1190) and is one of the few surviving figural monuments (now in the Esztergom Castle Museum). After the Mongol invasion of ...


Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....


Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....


Virginia Davis

[Austin][Canons Regular]

Religious order that developed in western Europe from the mid-11th century, when groups of priests began to live a communal life devoted to poverty, celibacy and obedience, following the Rule of St Augustine. Independent congregations that followed the Rule included the Premonstratensian Canons and the Victorine Canons.

The Rule on which the life of canons regular was based consists of two texts associated with St Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (ad 354–430), although they may not have been directly written by him. They draw on a third text, Letter 211, the so-called Regula sororum, which Augustine certainly did write c. 423 for the guidance of a religious community of women founded by him. It was not a complete guide to religious life but emphasized the importance of the common life as the necessary condition for religious perfection. The Regula Sancti Augustini comprises two parts: the Regula secunda, a practical guide of about 400 words, outlining daily offices, hours of reading and labour, discipline and obedience, and the longer and more detailed ...


Tania Velmans

Monastery situated on a wooded hill 11 km south of Asenovgrad in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1081 ad by the Georgian donors Grigori and Apazi Pakuriani after they had been granted control over extensive lands in the Rodopi Planina mountains by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos (reg 1081–1118). The two buildings of art-historical interest are the church of the Holy Archangels and the charnel-house, which lies 400 m east of and below the monastery. The church of the Holy Archangels is a single-nave structure with a dome and an elaborately divided interior. The walls are built of alternating bands of brick and stone, articulated with single-step niches, and there is an elaborate frieze of brickwork meander around the top of the dome’s drum. Numerous restorations have obliterated the original plan of the charnel-house (18×7 m), which has two storeys of single naves with eastern apses and western narthexes. Inside is a series of paintings mostly dated to the late 11th century and signed by ...



French, 11th century, male.

Painter. Religious subjects.

A monk, this artist was active in Beaulieu, Limousin. Between 1005 and 1008 he painted in the oratory of the monastery: The Annunciation; The Visitation; The Birth of Jesus; The Presentation in the Temple and The Adoration of the Magi...



Flemish School, 11th century, male.

Painter. Religious subjects.

This artist painted pictures for the abbey church of Lobbes.


Maylis Baylé

Former Benedictine abbey church in Normandy, France. The oldest Romanesque church in Normandy, Bernay was founded by Judith de Bretagne (d 1017) after 1008, the date of her marriage to Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Completed by the mid-11th century, it had an aisled nave of seven bays, projecting transepts with an eastern apsidal chapel on each arm, and three eastern apses; both the choir and the nave were wooden-roofed. The church (originally c. 67 m long) has been much altered: the east end, north transept, and the two westernmost nave bays have been destroyed and the north aisle was rebuilt in the 15th century. The clerestory windows were enlarged and domical vaults were inserted in the south aisle in the 17th century. Restorations were begun in 1963.

Three workshops of sculptors were active at Bernay. The first, in the lower level of the choir and east wall of the transept (...


11th century, male.

Miniaturists. Religious subjects.

These artists worked in Byzantium around 1000 and were two of the eight artists responsible for the famous Martyrology written for Emperor Basil II (979-1025). This life of the saints of the Greek Church has 430 miniatures and is preserved in the Vatican Library....


Carmela Vircillo Franklin

(b Berlin, Aug 18, 1911; d Cambridge, MA, Sept 6, 2006).

German historian of antiquity and the Middle Ages, active also in Italy and America. Bloch was trained at the University of Berlin under the historian of ancient Greece Werner Jaeger, art historian Gerhart Rodenwaldt and medievalist Erich Caspar from 1930 until 1933, when the rise of National Socialism convinced him to move to Rome. There he received his tesi di laurea in ancient history in 1935 and his diploma di perfezionamento in 1937. He then participated in the excavations at Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, which was an important site in the revival of Italian archaeology under Fascism. At the outbreak of World War II, he immigrated to the USA, and began his teaching career in 1941 at Harvard University’s Department of Classics, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. His experience of totalitarianism shaped both his personal and professional beliefs.

Bloch applied a deep knowledge of epigraphy, history and material culture, art history, literary and archival sources to his research and he had a propensity for uncovering the significance of new or neglected evidence. One such area was Roman history. His first publications, on ancient Rome’s brick stamps (many of which he discovered ...



Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...



Italian, 11th century, male.

Active in Rome at the beginning of the 11th century.

Painter. Religious subjects.

School of Rome.

An inscription indicates that this artist painted the frescoes in the church of S Urbano alla Caffarella, near Rome (1011).


Nigel Gauk-Roger

Religious order of hermit-monks.

The Order was founded by St Romuald (c. 950–1027; can 1595), a Benedictine monk from Ravenna, who wanted to return to the purity of St Benedict’s original ideas (see Benedictine Order §1) and combine an austere form of monastic community with the mystical simplicity of the hermit’s life. In 1022–3 he established a community at Camaldoli, near Poppi, where solitary eremitical cells (the Sacro Eremo) were grouped above a cenobitical monastery (Fontebono), an arrangement that later inspired the Carthusians. It would appear that he did not intend to originate an order based specifically at Camaldoli, for he later founded other communities. His ideas directly influenced St Peter Damian (1007–72) and St John Gualberto (d 1073), who founded the Vallombrosans. The Constitutions and Rule of the Camaldolensians were written by Rudolph, 4th Prior of Camaldoli (reg 1074–89). The Rule was followed at numerous monasteries, both male and female, in central and northern Italy. Although the sites chosen gradually tended to be nearer to or even within towns, the internal discipline rarely diverged from Romuald’s ideal combination of penitent isolation with communal austerity....


Don Denny

Numerical list of concordant passages in the Gospels, devised in the early 4th century by the historian Eusebios of Caesarea. Such tables indicate passages to be found in all four Gospels, those found in two or three of the Gospels and those unique to a particular Gospel. In medieval manuscripts they appear as a series of pages, varying from seven to as many as nineteen, placed at the front of Gospel books and often included, preceding the Gospels, in full Bibles. It was customary to surround them with ornament and, despite the wide geographical and chronological range of this practice, the basic decorative format remained fairly constant. The tables are divided and framed by representations of architectural columns surmounted by arcades or, occasionally, pediments; pictorial matter is concentrated in the upper part of the design, which might contain decorative and symbolic bird and plant motifs as well as more explicit illustrative features, such as the Evangelist symbols or the Twelve Apostles. In Eastern manuscripts the tables are sometimes preceded by two or three pages of introductory text, similarly framed by architectural designs, and a further page of related ornament (e.g. a tempietto) might be included at the beginning or end....


M. Guardia

[S Vicenç, Cardona]

Former collegiate church in Catalonia, Spain. The first reference to a church dedicated to St Vincent in Cardona Castle dates to ad 980. By the end of the century the canons were already following the rule established at Aachen, but the crucial stage in the church’s development took place under Bremon, Vizconde de Cardona (d 1029). In 1019, following the advice of Oliba, Abbot of Ripoll, he restored religious life in the church and endowed it generously. Shortly before his death Bremon began work on a new church, which was consecrated in 1040; according to the surviving record of the endowment, the lords of Cardona promised to protect the religious community in their castle. In 1090 the Augustinian rule was introduced.

S Vicenç is perhaps the boldest yet most harmonious example of First Romanesque architecture in Catalonia (see Romanesque §II 1.). The church is 57 m long and is built of ...


Brenda M. Bolton

[Fr. Chartreux, It. Certosini, Ger. Kartäuser]

Monastic order founded in 1084 by St Bruno (c. 1030–1101; can 1514), a canon of St Cunibert in Cologne. The Order took its name from that of the mountainous site of the mother house at La Grande Chartreuse in the diocese of Grenoble (Isère). The Order has never been reformed; such continuity over more than 900 years is unique. The way of life of the first Carthusians, characterized by total dedication to contemplation through silence, assiduous prayer, poverty, penance, and almost continuous occupancy of a solitary cell, impressed contemporaries with its novelty. Bruno set out to deepen the essential ideals of monasticism through the strictest separation from the world, combined with an intense desire to set aside time for God (‘vacare Deo’). His followers led an eremitical life, inspired by biblical models and the Fathers of Egypt and Palestine, but partially tempered by cenobitism, which allowed for the practicalities of survival in the particularly harsh environment chosen by the Order. The early Carthusians did not represent a criticism of established Benedictine monasticism (...


Neil Stratford

Cluniac abbey, then priory church dedicated to SS Stephen and Fortunatus, in Loire, France. Founded by ad 875 (not 872) in the diocese of Mâcon, the abbey was given to Abbot Odo of Cluny in 932 by Pope John XI; it was reduced to the rank of a priory in the mid-11th century. The priory was suppressed in 1787 and subsequently sold; the eastern parts of the nave and the east end were razed in 1800. Numerous stone fragments, many possibly from the church, are on display in the cloister and other monastic buildings.

The earliest building seems to have had a long, aisleless nave and a choir terminating in an apse, surrounded by a half-sunk ambulatory with a single axial chapel. It may have been altered in a second campaign, dated by Sunderland to the period after 932. The Romanesque church had an aisled nave of five bays, a projecting transept and an east end with five apses in echelon; its single surviving nave bay has a two-storey elevation and a barrel vault. The capitals form a coherent series, decorated with palmettes, acanthus, heads, animal masks and ...


Chinese, 11th century, male.

Born in Yancheng (Henan).

Painter. Religious subjects, figures, scenes with figures.

Song dynasty.

Chen Yongzhi was a member of the Imperial Painting Academy during the Tiansheng period (1023-1032). A skilful artist, he painted Buddhist and Taoist as well as secular figures and was esteemed for his close attention to detail....


Peter Diemer

Church near Lecco, in Lombardy, Italy. It is famous for its Romanesque stucco and painted decoration. The first reference to a Benedictine monastery at Civate occurs in a Liber confraternitatum of Pfäfers Abbey of c. 845, which lists the names of 35 monks. According to legend, the monastery was founded by Desiderius, King of the Lombards, in thanksgiving for the miraculous healing of his son from blindness by a local hermit, Durus, who became the first abbot. It is unclear whether this first monastery was situated next to S Pietro, the site of Durus’s hermitage, or in the village of Civate in the valley below, where it was certainly located by the 11th century. The later use of S Pietro and the reason for its expensive restoration by the Benedictines are also uncertain.

S Pietro al Monte has been preserved from the ruin that has overtaken most of the buildings surrounding it. Built of limestone, the church is decorated with pilasters and arch-friezes and consists of a rectangular hall with open timber ceiling and apses at either end. The double apse is reminiscent of great churches north of the Alps (cf. the St Gall monastery plan; ...