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T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....



Philancy N. Holder

[It.: ‘palace’]

Italian term originally applied to large or residential buildings but now used more broadly to describe any large secular or urban structure. Although the early medieval Italian palazzo contained residential space, it was primarily civic in purpose, providing the seat of government during the era of the independent city-republics, communes and later rule by individuals. The terms Palazzo Pubblico, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Priori all indicate types of designated government at the time of a particular civic building’s construction. Residential palazzi, on the other hand, are identified by the names of the families who built or remodelled them, as in the Palazzo Rucellai and the Palazzo Medici (later Palazzo Medici–Riccardi; see §2 below).

The architectural characteristics of such medieval civic structures as the Palazzo del Podestà (1255; also known as Palazzo Bargello) in Florence (see Florence, §I, 2) strongly influenced the development of the private palazzo. The massive, fortress-like exteriors, solid, sparsely fenestrated walls and crenellated watch-towers that characterized the medieval palazzo were clear indications of the fierce political climate of the Middle Ages. Until the 15th century, crenellations with rectangular merlons indicated papal or Guelph loyalties, while cleft battlements declared imperial or Ghibelline sympathies. Regardless of allegiance, however, masons throughout Italy built secular structures using identical vernacular building methods, adopting the uncomplicated post-and-lintel bay system. Builders dressed local stone into rusticated blocks for the load-bearing walls. Where stone was not readily available, brick construction predominated....


John Osborne


Situated in the Forum Romanum, at the foot of the Palatine Hill, S. Maria Antiqua is an early medieval church inserted into a pre-existing complex of classical buildings. It was excavated by Giacomo Boni in 1900. The original structure, dated by brick stamps to the late years of the emperor Domitian (reg 81–96 CE), comprised an atrium, a vaulted quadriporticus, and three chambers beyond. Its precise function remains uncertain, although it was presumably related to Domitian’s palace on the hill above, to which it was connected by a ramp. At some point, probably in the second half of the 6th century, the site was converted for use as a church. Columns were substituted for the four brick pilasters on the long sides of the quadriporticus, and an apse was cut into the end wall. A church with this dedication had been known from an early 8th-century reference in the ...


Patsy Vanags

Site of a Roman temple incorporated into an Early Christian or early medieval church, c. 15 km north of Spoleto, Italy. The River Clitumnus, with its numerous springs, was sacred in Roman times, and there were many shrines along its course. Spolia from these may have been used in the existing structure. It has some traits in common with Roman temples, most notably its four-columned façade with a pediment above. The framing of the columns with two apparently contemporary square section columns is uncommon, but other aspects of its design mark it out as an Early Christian building (4th or 5th century ad) or an early medieval one (8th or 9th century). The interior has a narrow horseshoe arch in the apse and carved mouldings with early medieval characteristics. The building stands on a podium, but instead of a staircase at the front, a flight of steps on either side leads to a small pedimented doorway giving access to the interior. This unusual arrangement may be due to the siting of the building on a sloping bank, but its bold form, with miniaturized Hellenistic grandeur reminiscent of the Roman sanctuary (late ...