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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....

Article

G. Lloyd-Morgan

Male figure (sometimes known as telamon, and equivalent to the female caryatid) used architecturally since the Classical period to replace a column, and for decorative effect in metalwork and furniture since the 16th century. It is usually represented standing with its hands behind its bowed head, as if supporting a heavy weight on its shoulders, and is probably modelled on the mythical Atlas, who was said to hold up the sky. Unlike caryatids, surviving examples from the Greco-Roman world are scarce. The earliest and most famous, in the huge temple of Zeus Olympios at Akragas (begun c. 480 bc), are 7.65 m high and composed of 12 or 13 courses of stone. Several have been reconstructed on site from excavated fragments. Evidence from coins suggests that atlantids adorned other temples and sacred buildings. They are found in Roman secular architecture from the 1st century bc, for example at Pompeii in the ...

Article

Eugene Dwyer

A support for one or more lights, consisting of a base, usually three-footed, a shaft and a receptacle or tray, which became a highly developed decorative art form in the ancient world.

The Latin word candelabrum derives from the more ancient form of the implement, used by the Etruscans, which held wax or tallow candles or torches by means of vertical or horizontal spikes. In Hellenistic, late Republican and Imperial times the earlier form tended to be replaced by a more luxurious, singly or multiply branched type designed to hold one or more oil lamps. Ancient authors spoke of candelabra made of gems, gold, silver, bronze and wood.

Especially prized were those bronzes with trays from Aigina and shafts from Taras. The most renowned candelabra of the ancient world were undoubtedly the seven-branched candelabrum from the Temple in Jerusalem, taken by the Romans in ad 70, and the one described by ...