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Walter Smith

[anc. Koil]

City in Uttar Pradesh, India, 135 km south-east of Delhi. A Rajput stronghold, Koil fell to Muslim invaders in ad 1194. Several later monuments were built on the foundations of its Hindu temples, no early examples of which survive. During the first half of the 15th century Koil figured in the confrontations between the Sharqis of Jaunpur and the armies of the Delhi Sultanate. The fort, built in 1524 during the reign of Ibrahim Lodi, was rebuilt by Sabit Khan in 1717 and extensively redesigned by the French in the early 19th century. Several monuments attributed to the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) in the Bagh-i-Gesu Khan (now a public cemetery) include a pillared pavilion with a low dome and the remains of another double-storey pavilion; the supposed tomb of Gesu Khan, an official of Akbar, is a red sandstone structure set on a plinth with lattice screens and crowned by a low dome. The Jami‛ Masjid, at the summit of a long, steep slope called the Bala Qila, was begun in the 17th century but almost completely reworked in ...


J. B. Harrison

[anc. Prayaga]

City of religious, strategic and administrative importance in Uttar Pradesh, India. Located at the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mystical Saraswati, Allahabad has drawn Hindu pilgrims for centuries. The earliest monument is a stone pillar, inscribed with edicts of Ashoka (reg c. 269–c. 232 bc), a panegyric of the Gupta king Samudragupta (reg c. ad 335–76) and a record of its re-erection in 1605 by the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Brooding over the Sangam (sacred bathing area) is the massive sandstone fort of Akbar (reg 1556–1605), built in 1584 to guard the river-route to Bengal. As at Agra, Delhi and Lahore, the fort enclosed residential quarters and palace buildings, but these were substantially altered during British tenure in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some indication of their former splendour is given in aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell family.

Mughal residences and gardens straggled along the Yamuna from the fort to the city. Prince Salim, the future emperor ...



A. V. Ivanov

[formerly Alma-Ata; Verny]

Former capital of Kazakhstan. Situated at the foot of the northern Zailiyskoye Alatau mountain range, the modern settlement was established in 1854 as a Russian fortification, initially called Zailiyskoye but soon renamed Verny, on the site of medieval Almata. Archaeological finds in the locality bear witness to the assimilation of various cultures in this region from the middle of the 1st millennium ad. Its statute was granted in 1867, and it became the capital of the Semirechensky region. The city suffered greatly during earthquakes in 1887 and 1910 and also endured several landslides. In 1921 it was renamed Alma-Ata (now Almaty). In 1929 it became the capital of the Kazakh SSR and developed rapidly, especially with the construction of the Turkestan–Siberian railway. Most of its streets were reconstructed and the city was replanned as a network of avenues and boulevards. Prominent architects of the USSR participated in the construction of major buildings. A second stage of intensive construction took place after World War II. The outstanding cathedral (...



Antonio Milone

Italian city in the province of Salerno, Campania. One of the principal mercantile cities of the medieval period, it was ruled by an oligarchy of merchants who were active throughout the entire Mediterranean. The city, which was founded in late antiquity, still has traces of its Roman past. Documentary sources record that the city was founded by Roman patricians after a shipwreck (Chronicon Salernitanum, 10th century). Amalfi has been documented as a bishopric since 596, and it was elevated to an archbishopric in 978. The oligarchy that controlled the city first rose to power in the 9th century and was in control until the arrival of the Normans, when Amalfi was sacked twice by the Pisans (1135 and 1137). In 1208 Amalfi received the body of the apostle St Andrew, which was brought from Constantinople due to the efforts of the papal nuncio there, Cardinal Pietro Capuano....


Pierre Pichard

City in upper Burma on the Irrawaddy River, 11 km south of Mandalay. It was the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty from 1782, the year of its foundation, to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860. It was built on a strictly square plan, surrounded by a wall and a moat. Each side of the wall measured 1.6 km and had three gates leading into the main streets that divided the city into equal square blocks, with a great wooden palace at its centre. The palace was dismantled in 1857, and its materials reused to build the new royal capital, Mandalay.

The major monuments of Amarapura are located outside this central square. They include the Naga-yon Temple with its superstructure in the form of a gigantic guardian serpent; the large Kyauk-taw-gyi Temple built in 1847 on the model of the Ananda at Pagan, and famous for its mural paintings depicting scenes of daily life; the tall Pahto-daw-gyi Stupa (...


Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...



Lale H. Uluç

[anc. Amaseia]

Turkish town in northern Anatolia. Situated in a ravine on both banks of the Yeşilırmak (Iris) River, it served as capital of the kingdom of Pontus during Hellenistic times, and the rock-cut tombs of the Pontic kings are set below the citadel. An important Roman metropolis and a Byzantine bishopric and army base, it fell to the Saljuq family dynasty of Anatolia in 1075. Notable buildings from the medieval period include the Burmalı Minare (‘spiral minaret’) Mosque (1237–46; derelict); the Gök Madrasa (1266–7) and adjacent tomb (1278), built by the governor Sayf al-Din Turumtay; a hospital (1309); and several other tombs. In the early 14th century the city passed to the Uighur chief Eretna. In 1386 it was conquered by the Ottomans, for whom it served until the end of the 17th century as a princely residence and provincial centre, known for its educational institutions. Buildings from the early Ottoman period include the Sufi convent (Turk. ...



Walter Smith


City in north-west Rajasthan, India, founded by Mina tribesmen in the early 10th century ad and taken by the Kachchhwaha Rajputs c. 1150. Amer is dominated by the palace complex located halfway up a hill crowned by massive fortifications. Below, a maze of buildings constitutes the town. The palace complex was built along a north–south axis over a period of c. 100 years. Raja Man Singh (reg c. 1590–1614) built the original palace at the southernmost end, a central courtyard surrounded by a rectangle of even, uniform structures. Below the palace in a funerary monument are some of the earliest surviving Rajasthani wall paintings. They lack inscriptions but relate formally to late 16th-century miniatures from Mewar and Amer.

Further additions were made to the palace in the 17th and 18th centuries. Two sets of courtyards and structures, showing rich cross-fertilization between the Mughal and Rajput styles, were added along the northern axis by ...


Monique Krauwer

Town in the Netherlands, situated c. 20 km north-east of Utrecht on the edge of the valley of the River Gelder, where several watercourses join to form the River Eem. Its early history was dominated by that of Utrecht. Amersfoort is known primarily for the survival of its medieval centre, which includes the original street plan, many churches and houses, and parts of the outer ring of fortifications with two watergates.

The early history of Amersfoort is poorly documented, but excavations have provided information about the first canals and parcels of land. The town name first occurs in 1028, when it was a small agricultural settlement on a ford over the Eem. Its growth was closely related to the reclamation of the Gelder valley, and it is mentioned again in the 12th century, when the town had become the seat of an episcopal governor, who may have organized the new development. Early in the 13th century there was an episcopal court with a chapel, which was later enlarged to become the St Joriskerk, the principal church of the town. In ...



Anne Prache, Stephen Murray, Michael W. Cothren, Susie Nash and Isabelle Denis

French city and capital of Picardy in Somme, northern France. It was founded on the River Somme on the site of the Roman city of Samarobriva. Reduced to a fortified castellum after the invasions of the 3rd-century ad, the medieval city eventually developed suburbs to the south and east. In 850 the cathedral of Notre-Dame and the church of St Firmin formed a cathedral complex in the old centre. From the 11th century, economic expansion and a growing population revived the city, and a textile industry developed with the production of a blue dye from woad and woollen cloth. The merchant-drapers of Amiens formed a middle class and were affranchized in 1117. A royal city from 1185, Amiens numbered 20,000 inhabitants in the 13th century. Religious foundations multiplied: the Abbey of St Acheul and the churches of St Nicolas, St Martin-aux-Jumeaux and St Martin-du-Bourg, and the cathedral (see §1...



Adnan Hadidi, Alastair Northedge and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Arab. ‛Amman; anc. Rabbath Ammon, later Philadelphia]

Capital of the kingdom of Jordan and site of a city that flourished between the 2nd millennium bc and the 14th century ad. The site lies in a fertile, well-watered area in the tableland to the east of the River Jordan, on the biblical King’s Highway (the ancient Roman Via Nova Traiana), which ran from Bosra in the north to the Red Sea in the south.

The ancient city consisted of the citadel, or acropolis, built in three terraces rising from west to east on a steep-sided, L-shaped hill, and the lower town in the valley of the Wadi ‛Amman to the south. The earliest material found on the citadel dates to the 3rd millennium bc; from c. 1100 bc until 582 bc the city was the capital of the kingdom of Ammon. Excavations around the perimeter of the hill have uncovered Ammonite tombs and Hellenistic and early Roman occupation from the ...



Gordon Campbell


Patwant Singh

Sikh holy city in Punjab, northern India. Lying on a flat stretch of agricultural land between the rivers Beas and Ravi, close to the Pakistan border, Amritsar (Skt amrit sarowar, ‘pool of nectar’) is the location of the Harmandir, the holiest of Sikh shrines at the heart of the Darbar Sahib temple complex, also referred to as the Golden Temple (see also Indian subcontinent §II 8., (ii) and §III, 7(ii)(a), fig.). It was the third Sikh guru, Amar Das (1552–74), who was first drawn to the area by the peace and tranquillity of its forested terrain and the pool where the Harmandir was later built. His successor, Guru Ram Das (1574–81), bought the pool and the surrounding land. Some historians believe that the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) offered the land as a gift, but that Ram Das declined in keeping with the Sikh tradition of self-reliance (...


Helma Hellinga, Ilja M. Veldman, J. A. van der Veen, Ton Geerts, Margriet de Roever, Peter Hornsby, Petra Dupuits and H. J. Zantkuijl

Capital city of the Netherlands. It has the largest population for a Dutch town but not the largest area (20,150 ha). The city is located in the province of North Holland on either side of the estuary of the River IJ. The oldest and largest part of the city lies south of the IJ, either side of the River Amstel. An industrial town and port, university and pilgrimage town, Amsterdam is also the country’s most important financial and artistic centre, with important museums, galleries, theatres, art dealers, and art sales. There are also major educational institutions for professional training in music, the visual arts, applied arts, photography, film, architecture, and the theatre.

Helma Hellinga

Although the city was traditionally thought to have been founded in 1275, research has revealed that it must have existed much earlier. At the end of the 12th century, the River Amstel was probably dammed, and thus closed off from the IJ, where the present square called the Dam is (hence the city’s original name, Amestelledamme). The most important period in Amsterdam’s history is the 17th century, also called the ‘Golden Age’, when the city became the most important ...



Roberto Coroneo

[anc. Anagnia]

Town in Lazio, Italy, situated on a tufaceous outcrop overlooking the Sacco valley and the road from Rome to Naples. It was the sacred city of the Ernici, who founded it in the 8th century bc. After being conquered by the Romans in 306 bc it became a prefecture and then municipium. The medieval acropolis stands on the site of the Ernician city, the form of which had determined the layout of the Roman town. This was triangular, fortified by two lines of walls, some impressive sections of which survive, in particular the terraces known as the Arcazzi.

Anagni was first mentioned as the seat of a bishopric in the 5th century ad. It was governed until the 8th century by tribunes appointed by the exarch of Ravenna, in the 9th century by dukes appointed by the Pope, and in the 11th century probably by local lords. In the 12th and 13th centuries Anagni, now a commune, was involved in the struggles between the Papacy and the Empire; during this period the third circuit of walls was constructed, as well as a number of new buildings along the via Maggiore, including the cathedral, the Palazzo Comunale, the palaces of popes Gregory IX (...



Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

Italian city on the Adriatic coast. It stands on a promontory that comprises the easternmost spur of Mt Conero, in a natural amphitheatre that forms the only major harbour between Venice and Bari. The principal city of the Marches, it has a population of c. 110,000. According to legend, Ancona was founded as a Greek colony by Dionysus of Syracuse c. 390 bc, on the site of an earlier and well-protected settlement on the northern slopes of the promontory. To the south were the Picene people and to the north the Gauls. The colonists built an acropolis and a temple dedicated to Venus Euplea, the remains of which have been found beneath the cathedral of S Ciriaco. In 268 bc Ancona was conquered by the Romans and became a municipal town. It doubled in size, and because of its proximity to the Via Salaria and the Via Flaminia its trade with the hinterland increased. In ...


Carl D. Sheppard

[Fr. Andreville]

Town in Elis, Greece, 55 km south-west of Patras. As Andreville it was the unfortified capital of the Frankish principality of the Morea from the 13th to the 15th century. Andravida, the strongly fortified port of Clarence (modern Killini), and Chlemoutsi Castle formed a triangle at the north-western tip of the Peloponnese designed to control the hinterland and the sea lanes. The only physical evidence of the Franks at Andravida are the remains of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, in which Prince Geoffrey Villehardouin I and his barons met to determine policy and justice.

The cathedral is the only surviving example of a rib-vaulted Gothic church in Greece. The extant remains consist of three square-ended eastern chapels and the foundations of a nave of at least ten bays. There was no transept. The building was of sandstone, with re-used ancient granite columns in the nave. The first building campaign started during the reign of Prince Geoffrey Villehardouin I (...



Pascale Charron, Kathryn Morrison, Anat Tcherikover and James Bugslag

French city, prefecture of the Maine-et-Loire département, situated on the River Maine. By the late 20th century it was a city of c. 141,000 inhabitants, with growing suburbs and a number of industries, including slate-quarrying, which began there in the 9th century.

Pascale Charron

Located along the boundaries of the Armorican Massif and the Paris basin, Angers took shape on a rocky promontory east of the river dominating the small valley of the Maine. It was only after the Gallic Wars (58–51 bc) that the first town, Juliomagus, inhabited by the Gallic Andes, came into existence. The town was built on the Roman routes to Armorica and Normandy, and it expanded considerably from the 1st to the 3rd centuries ad; baths, a circus, and an amphitheatre were built. Following the Germanic invasions, the settlement withdrew to the present site of the castle (see §2, (iv) below) from the end of the 3rd century. ...


M. T. Camus

City in Charente, western France. The name is derived from the Celtic Iculisma. The town was founded on a long limestone spur rising c. 75 m above the valleys of the rivers Charente and Enguienne. The Romans settled here, but the layout and function of the early Imperial city remain uncertain. At the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century ad, a rampart was built, girdling the upper part of the spur. Some remains are still recognizable. Christianity was established in the suburb named St Ausone, after the man accepted by tradition as the city’s evangelist; the remains of an Early Christian necropolis survive in the district.

In the early Middle Ages the city, seat of a bishopric and centre of a small comté, was sheltered within its ramparts in a fairly constricted space on the top of the spur (‘le plateau’). The cathedral complex, comprising the cathedral (...



Lale H. Uluç and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Gr. and Lat. Ancyra; Mod. Gr. Angora]

Capital city of the Turkish Republic since 1923. Ankara lies near the northern edge of the central Anatolian steppe at the confluence of three small rivers, spreading down the slopes of a mountain on which stands the ancient citadel. It has been a centre of trade and administration since antiquity.

In 25 bc, then a large and prosperous Phrygian city on the Royal Road from Sardis to Persepolis, Ancyra was made the capital of the Roman province of Galatia. It was embellished with buildings, of which the white marble Temple of Roma and Augustus is the most important to survive. Inscribed on its walls is the Monumentum Ancyranum, the most famous of all antique inscriptions. Written in Greek (on the exterior) and Latin (on the interior), the text is an account by the emperor Augustus (reg 27 bcad 14) of his public life and works. Other Classical remains include the Bilkis Minaresi (a column of the emperor Julian (or Jovian)) and the foundations of a large Roman bath on the road to Çankırı....