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Philip Stott, G. E. Marrison, Judith Patt, Wibke Lobo, Guy Nafilyan, J. Dumarçay, Madeleine Giteau, Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h, Patricia Naenna, Michael Hitchcock, Miranda Bruce-Mitford, Robin Ruizendaal, Dawn F. Rooney, Robert S. Wicks, Hak Srea Kuoch and Sian E. Jay

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T. Richard Blurton, Sunand Prasad, Geeta Kapur, Walter Smith, Rosemary Crill, Ratan Parimoo, S. J. Vernoit, Daniel Ehnbom, M. C. Joshi and James H. Nye

Country in South Asia founded following the withdrawal of the British from the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Inaugurated in 1950, it was formed from the accession of British and princely India but excluded the territory of what became the Muslim nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh (originally West and East Pakistan), its two neighbours to west and east. In the late 20th century India consists of 26 states and 7 union territories. This survey focuses on the arts produced since 1947. For discussion of earlier periods, see under Indian subcontinent.

T. Richard Blurton

India is a country of great size and geographical variety. To the north are the Himalaya, the highest mountains in the world. Further south is the massive plain, created over many centuries by rivers running out of the Himalaya and depositing rich alluvium as they drain to the sea. The greatest of these rivers are the Yamuna, the Brahmaputra and, pre-eminently, the Ganga. To the south of the river plains is the broken country of the Vindhya Hills, while the great mass of upland still further south is known as the Deccan. The coastal regions ringing the Deccan plateau are low and flat and are the location of large towns and cities. These fertile tracts become more pronounced in south India, with a commensurate diminution of the upland; much of the state of Tamil Nadu consists of lush lowland....

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Philip Stott, Miranda Bruce-Mitford, J. Dumarçay, Frederick Mathewson Denny, Jan Fontein, R. Soekmono, Helen Ibbitson Jessup, Victor T. King, Urs Ramseyer, Michael Hitchcock, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, John N. Miksic, Ruth Barnes, Mattiebelle Gittinger, Ward Keeler, Angela Hobart, Victoria M. Clara van Groenendael, Wolfgang Marschall, Bernard Arps, H. I. R. Hinzler, Sian E. Jay, Dawn F. Rooney, Robert S. Wicks, Daniëlle Grosheide and Lewis G. Hill

[formerly Dutch East Indies]

Country in South-east Asia comprising over 13,700 islands that extend in an arc straddling the equator, from Sumatra, west of Peninsular Malaysia, to the island of New Guinea, north of Australia (see fig.). Irian Jaya, the easternmost province of Indonesia, comprises the western half of the island of New Guinea; its population and cultures are Melanesian rather than Indonesian, and it is therefore treated elsewhere (see Irian Jaya). Kalimantan, in the centre of the archipelago, comprises most of the island of Borneo (the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, with Brunei, account for the remainder). The three next largest islands are Sumatra (see fig.), Sulawesi (Celebes) and Java (see fig.). Of the groups of smaller islands, the largest are Maluku (Moluccas)—a term formerly used to denote only the five small clove-producing islands of Tidore, Ternate, Motir, Makian and Bacan but now embracing all the islands between Sulawesi, Timor and Irian Jaya—and Nusa Tenggara (Lesser Sundas), a chain of islands stretching from Bali (...

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Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Pers. Jumhūrī-yi Islāmī-yi Īrān]

Country in the Middle East with its capital at Tehran. Iran has an area of c. 1,648,000 sq. km, bordered in the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, in the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and in the west by Turkey and Iraq (see fig.). Large areas of the country consist of mountainous regions or desert; only about 10% of the land is arable and habitable. Iran has a population of more than 65 million (2007 estimate), the majority being Shi‛a Muslim (the religion of the State) and the remainder comprising Sunni Muslims, Armenian Christians and other religious minorities. The official language is Farsi (Persian), and about 25% of Iranians speak Turkic languages. The principal Turkic groups are the Turkmen in the north-east and the Qashgaاi in the Shiraz region. In the north-west the Kurds, who constitute about 5% of the population, have a distinct culture and language, and distinct traditions are also maintained by the Lur and Bakhtyari tribes in the west and the Baluchs in the east. Oil, discovered in the early 20th century, is an important source of revenue, and there are reserves of natural gas, coal, copper and iron ore. As well as oil refining, the manufacture of carpets is a major industry....

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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arab. Al-Jumhūriyya al-‛Irāqiyya]

Country in the Middle East with its capital at Baghdad. Iraq has an area of c. 437,500 sq. km, encompassing the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and it is bordered in the west by Syria and Jordan, in the south by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, in the north by Turkey and in the east by Iran. The economy was largely dependent on the export of oil, but lavish spending and warfare in the late 20th century led to a sharp drop-off in production, such that by 2004 Iraq was $42 billion dollars in debt. The Paris Club of creditor nations, an informal group of financial officials from 19 of the world’s richest countries, agreed to write off 80%, and in 2005–6 Iraq had to restructure about $20 billion of commercial debt on comparable terms. The population of some 27 million (2006 estimate) consists of Arabs, Turks, Kurds and other minority groups. Islam is the predominant religion, with some 60% of the population being Shi‛a Muslim and the remainder largely Sunni Muslim with a small minority of Christians....

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John Turpin, Noreen Casey, Justin Carville, John Redmill, The Knight Of Glin, Sean McCrum, Mairead Dunlevy, Douglas Bennett, Colum Hourihane, Brian Coyle, Martyn Anglesea and Edward Murphy

[Eire]

Country in north-west Europe, comprising almost 85% of the most westerly of the British Isles. It is bordered to the north-east by Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, and it is separated from the remainder of the United Kingdom, to the east, by the Irish Sea. The remaining coastline is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (see fig.). Its population in the late 20th century was c. 3.5 million, and its capital city is Dublin. Most of the central region is lowland, drained by the River Shannon, but the north and west of the island are characterized by a rugged mountain landscape, and to the south of Dublin are the Wicklow Mountains. Less than 5% of Ireland is forested, and the country’s wet climate has led to the accumulation in the midland region of raised peat bogs. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, manufacture, and services, including tourism....

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Jessica Rawson, Zhou Lijun, William R. Sargent, Henrik H. Sørensen, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Jerome Silbergeld, Peter Hardie, Haiyao Zheng, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Puay-Peng Ho, Bent L. Pedersen, Tan Tanaka, Petra Klose, Frances Wood, Robert L. Thorp, Ann Paludan, Peter Wiedehage, Carol Michaelson, Stephen B. Little, Stephen J. Goldberg, Friedrich Zettl, James Cahill, Caroline Gyss-Vermande, Roderick Whitfield, Michael Sullivan, Susan H. Bush, James Robinson, Maggie Bickford, Robert E. Harrist jr, Richard Vinograd, Ellen Uitzinger, Ann Barrott Wicks, Colin Mackenzie, Robert W. Bagley, Li Xueqin, Jenny F. So, Nigel Wood, Margaret Medley, S. J. Vainker, Mary Tregear, Regina Krahl, Yutaka Mino, Laurence Chi-Sing Tam, Rose Kerr, Guy Raindre, Nicholas Pearce, John Guy, C. J. A. Jörg, Barry Till, Paula Swart, Rosemary Scott, Rosemary Ransome Wallis, Sarah Handler, John E. Vollmer, Albert E. Dien, Sören Edgren, Yang Boda, Joe Cribb, Verity Wilson, Jane Portal, Zhong Hong, Donald B. Wagner, Ho Chuimei, Bent Nielsen, B. V. Gyllensvärd, J. A. Marsh, Cordell D. K. Yee, F. Richard Stephenson, Keith Pratt, Henryk Jurkowski, Jan Chapman, Uta Lauer, Sarah Waldram, Richard Rutt, Mayching Kao, Chu-Tsing Li, Michel Beurdeley, Jessica Harrison-Hall, Basil Gray and Wang Tao

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Israel  

Michael Turner, Monica Bohm-Duchen, Dalia Manor, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom and Lia Koffler

Country on the east Mediterranean coast. It was established as an independent nation on land that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Israel occupies an area of c. 27,000 sq. km, bordering to the north with Lebanon and Syria, to the east with Jordan and to the south-west with Egypt (see fig.). It also occupies the territories of the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (still disputed 1996), and in 1980 it proclaimed Jerusalem, previously divided between Israel and Jordan, as its capital (see also Jerusalem, §I, 4). Its terrain and climate include the temperate and fertile Mediterranean coastal plain, the hill regions of northern Galilee and central Israel, where rainfall is heaviest, the dry Great Rift Valley and the southern, arid Negev Desert. Israel’s main water resource, the River Jordan, flows into the Dead Sea, which, at 400 m below sea level, is the lowest point on earth....

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Italy  

Susan Silberberg-Peirce, Mario D’Onofrio, Lynda Stephens, John Varriano, Peter Boutourline Young, John Musgrove, Eugene Dwyer, Mark R. Petersen, David G. Wilkins, Jessica Harness, Charles McCorquodale, Lia Bernini, Matthew Gale, Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Luca Leoncini, Michael A. Kissane, Charles Avery, Robert Enggass, Enrico Colle, Daniela Di Castro Moscati, Angela Griseri, Luciana Arbace, Clare Le Corbeiller, Paola d’Alconzo, Angela Catello, Anna Maria Massinelli, Fernanda Capobianco, Stefano Aluffi-Pentini, Santina M. Levey, Patricia Wardle, Candace J. Adelson, B. Kempers, Jaynie Anderson, Alessandro Conti, Rossella Todros, Yael Even and Stella von Boch

[Repubblica Italiana]

South European country. Mainland Italy occupies a peninsula (1200 km from north to south) bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, the Ionian Sea to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east (see fig.). The principal offshore islands of Italy are Sicilyand Sardinia. To the north the Alps form the mountainous border with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The Appennines are a limestone range running right down the peninsula into Sicily. Active volcanoes include Mt Vesuvius near Naples and Mt Etna in Sicily. The many and varied regions of Italy (pop. c. 57 million) include Piedmont and Lombardy in the north, which occupy the plain of the River Po and are home to Turin and Milan respectively; the Venetias to the east, including Venice; Emilia Romagna to the north-east of the Apennines, with the major towns of Bolognaand Ravenna; Liguria, a coastal region to the west of the Apennines that includes ...

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Stephen J. Goldberg

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Ivo Krsek and Karla Huebner

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Byun Young-Sup

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Jane Casey Singer

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Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h

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