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Article

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

Margaret Lyttleton

(reg 377–352 bc). Ancient Greek ruler. He was the Satrap (i.e. vassal of the King of Persia) of Caria in Asia Minor, now western Turkey, and a member of the Hekatomnid dynasty. Although Carian by birth, Mausolos greatly admired Greek culture and art. He was famous for having moved his capital from Mylassa to the coastal site of Halikarnassos, where there was a good harbour. He laid out the new capital in the natural hollow by the harbour, as described by Vitruvius (On Architecture II. 811ff), with his tomb, the Mausoleum, at the centre. He employed the most famous Greek architects and sculptors of his time to build and decorate this, but he died before it was completed. The Mausoleum was finished by his wife and half-sister, Artemisia, who reigned after him. A fine portrait statue from the Mausoleum (London, BM, 1001) has been thought to represent Mausolos, though there is no proof of this....

Article

Peter Der Manuelian

(fl mid-7th century bc; d before 647 bc). Egyptian priest, administrator and patron. First documented in Thebes under the Kushite king Taharqa, Mentuemhet survived the subsequent Assyrian invasion and sack of Thebes, and he continued to control most of Upper Egypt even after the reunification of the country in 656 bc under the 26th (Saite) Dynasty. He is mentioned in an oracle papyrus dated to 651 bc.

During the 26th Dynasty, numerous aspects of ancient Egyptian culture were revived, including artistic, religious and linguistic traditions; motifs and styles of earlier periods were deliberately copied, creating a consciously archaic style. This is somewhat misleadingly called the ‘Saite Renaissance’.

Mentuemhet possessed the status and wealth to wield a powerful influence on his age both politically and artistically. Over a dozen statues reflect a wide range of earlier tastes and styles (e.g. Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 42236, see fig., and London, BM, ...

Article

Taharqa  

Edna R. Russmann

[Bibl. Tirhakah]

(reg 690–664 bc).

Third king of the Egyptian 25th Dynasty (c. 750–c 656 bc), a line of Egyptianized foreigners from Kush (see Nubia, §IV). Biblical references, Assyrian records and his own numerous monuments have made Taharqa’s name synonymous with Kushite rule in Egypt. His sculptural and architectural styles epitomize 25th Dynasty art (see Egypt, ancient, §IX, 1). His representations are strongly archaizing, with broad shoulders, slim hips and muscular legs emulating royal sculpture of the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc). The bodies of Taharqa’s finest statues (e.g. two torsos of standing figures found at North Karnak; Cairo, Egyp. Mus., JE 39403–4) combine elegance and strength in a manner seldom seen in Egyptian royal sculpture after the Middle Kingdom (c. 2008–c. 1630 bc).

Some of his regalia was uniquely Kushite. Though he was portrayed wearing all the major Egyptian crowns, except the helmet-like Blue Crown, most frequently he was shown with a broad fillet, tied over a headdress that closely followed the shape of the skull and hairline. Opinions differ as to whether it represents close-cropped hair or a tight-fitting cap. Even more distinctive were a ram’s-head amulet and, at the front of the headdress, a double-uraeus cobra (instead of the single uraeus worn by Egyptian kings since the 1st Dynasty (...