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Anjar  

Hafez K. Chehab

[Andjar, ‛Anjar, ‛Ayn al-Jarr]

Late Antique and early Islamic settlement in the Beqa‛a Valley of Lebanon, 56 km east of Beirut. Excavations since 1953 have revealed a cardinally orientated rectangular enclosure (370×310 m) with dressed stone walls. Each side has regularly spaced half-round towers and a central gate. Two colonnaded avenues intersecting at right angles under a tetrapylon link the gates, a plan recalling that of Roman foundations in the Levant and in North Africa. Within the enclosure are the remains of two palaces and the foundations of three others in stone and hard mortar, as well as a mosque, two baths (one paved with mosaics) and a well. The western area has streets intersecting at right angles and housing units with private courts, and the eastern area has open fields beyond the palaces and mosque. The construction of the greater palace in alternating courses of stone and brick is a technique well known in Byzantine architecture. Reused architectural elements from the Roman and early Christian periods, some bearing Greek inscriptions, are found all over the site. A large quantity of archivolts and mouldings, carved with vegetal, geometrical and figural motifs, was found among the ruined palaces. Texts suggest that Anjar was founded in the time of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid (...

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

Greek city situated at the foothills of Mt Olympus in northern Greece (district of Pieria), 14 km south of modern city of Katerini. It was an important Macedonian political and cultural centre from the Classical to the Roman periods (6th century bc–4th century ad). By the 6th century bc it seems that the Macedonians were gathering at Dion in order to honour the Olympian gods, chiefly Zeus; according to myth, Deukalion, the only man to survive the flood at the beginning of time, built an altar to Zeus as a sign of his salvation. His sons, Macedon and Magnes, lived in Pieria, near Olympus, and became the mythical ancestors of the Macedonians. The altar allegedly erected by Deukalion remained the centre of the cult life at Dion throughout its history.

King Archelaos of Macedon (c. 413–399 bc) organized athletic and dramatic contests in the framework of the religious celebrations, following the practice of the Greeks in the south, such as at the great sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi. Philip II (...

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Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

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Suceava  

Tereza-Irene Sinigalia

Town in the region of Moldavia, Romania. The most representative constructions in the town are from the Middle Ages. From the 14th century Suceava was noted as a centre for crafts and commerce, including such applied arts as jewellery and fine ceramics. It was the capital of Moldavia from the late 14th century until the mid-16th, when Iaşi became the capital. Formerly it was the seat of the Metropolitan of Moldavia. Peter I (reg 1375–91), who established the capital at Suceava, built the Princely Court, which was enlarged during the reign of Alexander I (reg 1400–32) to occupy a vast area that included a palace, a tower, annexes and a boyars’ housing quarter, all round the edge of a square. This is known only from archaeological research. Near the town, on two hills on the north-west and south-west, the same prince built the royal fortress, a large defensive construction and place of refuge, and the Scheia fortress (destr.). The former is square with an interior precinct and defence towers of square plan, a chapel and dwellings, a moat and a drawbridge. It was strengthened by a new set of walls with semicircular bastions for artillery, built by ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

[Ger. Stettin]

Polish city in western Pomerania at the delta of the River Odra (Ger. Oder) and linked to the Baltic Sea. From the 10th century it was known as an important trade centre: excavated Byzantine, Arabic and English coins as well as jewellery confirm the extent of contacts. Excavations also show that Szczecin originated, typically for the Slav countries, as two settlements: the ruler’s seat located on the hill and the village, encircled by defensive earthworks with three gates, on the west bank of the Odra. A dependency, at different times, of the Holy Roman Empire, Denmark and Poland, Szczecin was ruled until 1637 by locally established princes. When, in 1237, the charter was granted to Szczecin, the town was already well developed and organized, with a population of over 5000. It had a regular street network, timber houses and three churches: two were built as a direct result of the Christian missions of Otto of Bamberg in ...