61-80 of 666 results  for:

  • CE 500–1000 x
Clear all

Article

Eric Cambridge

[Biscop Baducing]

(b Northumbria, ad 628; d Monkwearmouth, 689–90; fd 12 Jan). English saint and patron. He rejected his position as a Northumbrian nobleman prominent in the royal service, and in ad 653 became a pilgrim, making the first of several visits to Rome, and acquainting himself with the leading monasteries of Gaul and Italy, including Lérins in Provence, where he became a monk. Unexpectedly Pope Vitalian ordered him to accompany Archbishop Theodore to Canterbury. On their arrival there in 669, Benedict temporarily became head of the monastery of SS Peter and Paul. His final years were spent in establishing and ruling his own monastic community in Northumbria where, under royal patronage, he founded Monkwearmouth in 674, and Jarrow, his community’s second home, in 685.

Benedict’s activities brought about the dissemination of artefacts characteristic of Mediterranean Christian Antiquity to the ‘barbarian periphery’ of Europe: books, relics, and pictures from Rome; masons and glaziers from Gaul. These were not simply practical necessities; they were also the symbols of his monastery’s allegiance to the Roman Church. Others in 7th-century England and northern Gaul were similarly engaged. What distinguishes Benedict is the single-mindedness with which he pursued his devotion to Antique forms. More than any other recorded figure, he laid the foundations on which the 8th-century Northumbrian renaissance was built....

Article

Anne Frances Dawtry

Term used to refer to those monks and nuns who followed the regulations for monastic life instituted by Benedict of Nursia (ad c. 480–547). The Benedictines did not strictly constitute an order during the Middle Ages, as each house was autonomous, but the Rule of St Benedict provided the organizational basis of many of the reformed orders that developed from the 10th century.

Benedict was an Italian nobleman who, disgusted with the corruption of contemporary society, became a hermit at Subiaco, attracting many followers. About ad 529 he established a community of monks at Montecassino. The rule that he compiled c. 530 was adopted by monastic communities all over Europe and subsequently in the New World. Its 73 chapters contain a wealth of practical detail concerning the liturgical and domestic life of the community. Unlike some monastic writers of his day, he did not ask for the impossible. The rule was based on moderation and cooperation within the community (‘a little Rule for beginners where nothing harsh or burdensome is to be enjoined’), dependent on humility and unconditional obedience to God. Set times were established for intellectual and manual work, ensuring a careful balance in the hours allotted for prayer and study. Although the rule does not dictate a particular arrangement of conventual buildings, all the functions required by each community were anticipated and a standardized plan was to develop (...

Article

Adam S. Cohen

revised by Shirin Fozi

Illuminated manuscript (292 × 225 mm; London, BL, Add. MS. 49598) containing liturgical prayers recited by the bishop, produced in Winchester between ad 971 and 984 for Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, a leader of Anglo-Saxon monastic reform. It is a sumptuous work, with 28 full-page miniatures (another 15 have been lost) and 2 historiated initials lavishly executed in gold and vibrant colours (see Initial, manuscript). The decoration includes the finest examples of Winchester school borders, consisting of acanthus designs that fill the frame and shoot forth from the corner medallions. An inscription describes the manufacture of the book by the scribe Godeman and refers specifically to the ‘many frames well adorned’. The figural style, like the decorative and iconographic elements, is derived primarily from Carolingian models and is consistent with contemporaneous Anglo-Saxon art; what distinguishes the manuscript is its extremely luxurious illuminations and the complexity of its iconographic programme....

Article

Virginia Leonardis

[anc. Beneventum]

Italian town in Campania, c. 70 km north-east of Naples. It became a Roman colony in 268 BC and was an important centre during the Roman Empire, being sited at the junction of the Via Appia with other Roman roads. Benevento contains one of the best-preserved Roman triumphal arches, the Arch of Trajan (Porta Aurea), built of Greek marble in AD 114. The arch, built across the Via Appia, features a single opening flanked by engaged Composite columns with an attic above, and it has reliefs glorifying the triumphs of Trajan together with an inscription in the attic. Other ancient remains include those of a Roman theatre built under Emperor Hadrian (reg AD 117–38) and later extended.

In the 6th century AD Benevento became the first independent Lombard duchy, and it retained its autonomy until passing to the Church in the 11th century; it was part of the Papal States until ...

Article

(b c. ad 960; bur Hildesheim, Nov 22, 1022; can 1192).

German saint, bishop, and patron. He was born into a noble Saxon family, possibly that of a count. At Hildesheim cathedral school he was taught by Thangmar. The Life of St Bernward, begun by Thangmar and completed in 1030–40 by monks from St Michael’s Abbey, Hildesheim, records that Bernward was the secretary of Archbishop Willigis of Mainz (reg 975–1011), who was Chancellor to Otto I and Otto II. Bernward was summoned to court in 987 as tutor to Otto III. To mark his consecration as Bishop of Hildesheim (15 Jan 993), Otto III presented him with a fragment of the True Cross, which Bernward placed in a reliquary in the form of a golden cross adorned with precious stones, and housed in a specially-built chapel (ded. 996). He visited Rome in the Emperor’s retinue in 1000–01, using the opportunity to acquire valuable relics. In September 1007 he travelled to Saint-Denis Abbey and also visited the tomb of his patron saint, St Martin, in Tours....

Article

Kirit Mankodi

[Vidisha; Vidiśā; Vidiśānagarī; Vedisā; Vessanagara]

City and temple site in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the modern town of Vidisha. It flourished c. 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad and was the principal city of the Dasarna region in ancient times. Besnagar was established at the confluence of the rivers Betwa (Vetravati) and Bes (Vidisha). The River Bes has given the town its various names through history. Few monuments survive, but vestiges of a substantial rampart remain on the west side of the city, where it is not skirted by rivers, and numerous mounds mark the sites of abandoned habitations and prominent religious structures. Just north of the ruined city is a free-standing pillar (c. 100 bc) known as Kham Baba. The pillar bears a Brahmi inscription stating that it was set up as a Garuda pillar in honour of Vasudeva (Vishnu) by one Heliodoros, a Greek from Taxila. Foundations of an elliptical temple have been excavated near by (...

Article

Rachel Hachlili

Synagogue in Hefzibah, Israel, notable for its 6th-century ad mosaic pavements. It was first excavated in 1929 by E. L. Sukenik and N. Avigad. It consisted of a courtyard, a vestibule and a main hall (27.7×14.2 m). The north façade of the hall had three entrances; on the floor adjacent to these, mosaic depictions of a lion and a bull flank two inscriptions. One, in Greek, commemorates the craftsman who laid the mosaics; the other, in Aramaic, places the date of the synagogue’s construction in the reign of Justinus (probably Justinus II, reg ad 565–78). The main hall was divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of plastered stone pillars. The south wall of the nave ended in an apse, orientated towards Jerusalem, which housed the Ark of the Scrolls and possibly also two menorahs (ritual candlesticks). Benches were built along the east, west and south walls; a door in the western aisle led into a side room....

Article

Term used to describe the distinctive relief decoration commonly used on stucco, wood and other arts of the early Islamic period. Characterized by a slanted cut (Ger. Schrägeschnitt), the decoration usually consists of rhythmic and symmetrical repetitions of curved lines with spiral terminals. The style is first documented in the mid-9th century ad at the Abbasid capital of Samarraا in Iraq, where the walls of enormous mud-brick palaces were rendered with plaster, moulded or carved in three styles of relief decoration. Although two styles (A and B) preserve recognizable vegetal forms ultimately derived from Late Antique ornament, the third (C) or Bevelled style is far more abstract, and the traditional distinction between subject and ground has dissolved. The same style of decoration was also used at Samarraا for wooden furnishings, such as panels and doors and for other sculpted media, such as rock crystal.

The Bevelled style quickly became popular throughout the Abbasid realm: it is found, for example, at the ...

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Bazaklik]

Site in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, 56 km north-east of Turfan. It is the site of the most outstanding complex of Buddhist cave temples in Khocho and is located in the steep side of an extensive terrace above the Murtuk River. At one time access to the caves was via free-standing timber buildings or terraces constructed in front of them, but by the time the caves were discovered by Albert von Le Coq at the beginning of the 20th century these were largely in ruins. In type the caves conform to those in the Kucha region (see Kizil; see also Central Asia, §II, 2).

The cave temples contained sculptures made of unfired clay, but it was mainly the wall paintings (removed by von Le Coq for safekeeping, few survive; see below) that in their unsurpassable diversity provided evidence of a flourishing Buddhist community. The most impressive were the paintings depicting consecration of a ...

Article

Michael D. Rabe

[Telugu: ‘Mountain of the fearsome god’]

Site of a Hindu cave temple complex 140 km north-west of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, India. Isolated between the precipitous red cliffs of a box canyon, the site comprises eight small and remarkably similar caves excavated from a single rock face above a stream. Datable by style and epigraphy to the 7th century ad, all eight caves house Shiva liṅgas within sanctuaries measuring c. 2×2×2 m. Life-size door guardians carved into the façade of each shrine lean upon heavy clubs; their abundant hair is set with single blades or triple forks, respectively identifying them as personifications of Shiva’s axe and trident. All but one of the cave façades are also adorned with smaller-scale icons of Brahma and Vishnu, which, together with the Shiva liṅgas, complete the Hindu trinity. Each cave is preceded by an open court containing a reclining image of Shiva’s vehicle, the bull Nandi, set facing the sanctum; relief panels on either side are carved with seated images of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha and the child-devotee Chandikesha. The external façades of caves 5–8 include porches with richly detailed parapets supported by twin pillars ...

Article

Walter Smith

[Bhubaneswar]

Temple site adjacent to the modern city of Bhubaneshwar, capital of the state of Orissa, India. The remains of the ancient temples lie to the south of the modern city (built after 1947), most of them clustered around a small sacred lake called the Bindu Sarovara. The earliest archaeological records pertaining to the site date from the reign of the Emperor Ashoka (reg c. 269–c. 232 bc); other remains include the rock-cut Jaina monuments of Udayagiri Hill (2nd–1st century bc; see Khandagiri and Udayagiri) and the nearby city of Sisupalgarh (c. 4th century bc–4th century ad). Bhubaneshwar’s importance as a centre of Shiva worship is not documented until the early 7th century ad, the date of the earliest Shaiva temples. Temples, mostly dedicated to Shiva, continued to be built here until the 14th century. The earliest examples (see §2, (i) below) bear images of Shiva as Lakulisha, the legendary founder of the Pashupata sect, which was prevalent throughout northern India from the Gupta period (4th–5th century ...

Article

Joachim E. Gaehde

[Bible of San Callisto]

Illuminated manuscript (Rome, S Paolo fuori le mura), probably made at Reims c. 870. It is the most extensively illustrated of all extant Carolingian Bibles. A dedicatory poem by Ingobertus referens et scriba fidelis and the verses accompanying an image of a ruler establish that it was made for a King Charles, now identified as Charles the Bald, who when he was crowned Emperor in Rome in 875 probably gave it to Pope John VIII, and that the text was written by an otherwise unidentified scribe named Ingobert. The Bible has been in Rome (S Paolo fuori le mura) since the papacy of Gregory VII (1073–85).

The manuscript contains 337 parchment folios measuring 448×355 mm. The decoration consists of 92 initials, of which 36 occupy full pages, 4 canon tables, and 24 frontispiece miniatures. The initials represent the finest work in the calligraphy of the Reims school and are, despite their variety, of one cast. The miniatures, however, show variations in style and technique in which it is possible to distinguish the work of three separate artists who reassembled and translated shared pictorial sources into their own idioms. These sources were a mid-9th century Tours Bible and Gospel Book (untraced) and a cycle of Bible illustrations from an imperial atelier at Constantinople of the later 4th to the mid-5th century. Of the three artists, the so-called ...

Article

Walter Smith

Temple site in north-western Andhra Pradesh, India. The village’s name is a corruption of Bikkanavrol, or Birudankavrolu, which was derived from Birudankabhima—an epithet of the Eastern Chalukya king Gunaga Vijayadita III (reg ad 848–92). It has been suggested that Bikkavolu was the Eastern Chalukya capital (see Indian subcontinent, §I, 2, (iii)) before the move to Rajamahendri (Rajamahendrapura). The Bikkavolu temples date from c. 850–950. Three of them, located in fields just outside the village, are southern (drāviḍa) in style, with square, tiered superstructures and very little sculptural ornamentation (see Indian subcontinent, §III, 5, (i), (h)). Within the village are three more elaborate temples, the Golingeshvara, Rajaraja and Chandrashekhara, which are attributed to the time of Gunaga Vijayaditya or slightly later. Their carved images of the various forms of Vishnu and Shiva, mother goddesses and Surya are iconographically interesting, as they exhibit a combination of Pallava, Western Chalukya and Orissan influences (...

Article

Mark Whittow

[Turk.: ‘The Thousand and One Churches’]

Group of late Roman and Byzantine sites on the Karadağ, an isolated mountain in the plain north of the Taurus Mountains in the modern province of Karaman in south-central Turkey (Roman and Byzantine Lykaonia). The mountain has been convincingly identified as the site of Barata, a minor city attested as a bishopric from the 4th century ad to the 12th. On the mountain there are the remains of over 40 churches and associated buildings. These are concentrated in two groups: a lower settlement now known as Maden Șehir and an upper settlement called Değler. There are also numerous other remains on the Karadağ, including some Hittite rock carvings, several churches built on the peaks of the mountain and several medieval fortifications.

Although known to scholars since 1826, the first and only survey of the Karadağ was that carried out by Sir William Ramsay (1851–1939) and Gertrude Bell in ...

Article

Bitolj  

Srdjan Djurić

[Bitola; Herakleia Lynkestis; Turk. Manastir, Monastir]

Town on the Pelagonian plain in the Republic of Macedonia, at the foot of Mt Pelister. The ancient city of Herakleia Lynkestis, strategically situated on the River Siva Reka, 3 km south of Bitolj, was probably founded by Philip II of Macedon (reg 359–336 bc). Under Roman rule from 148 bc, it became a major military and commercial centre on the Via Egnatia and continued to flourish throughout the early Byzantine period until the settlement of the Slavs in the late 6th century ad. In the 5th and 6th centuries Herakleia was also an important ecclesiastical see. The site was excavated in 1935–8 and 1957–80, and 14 early Byzantine mosaic floors were uncovered. The sculptural and archaeological finds from the site are kept in Bitolj (Archaeol. Mus.), Skopje (Archaeol. Mus. Macedonia) and Belgrade (N. Mus.).

Only the western part of the site has been explored, revealing six buildings, including the Roman theatre (2nd century ...

Article

Bizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

Article

Carmela Vircillo Franklin

(b Berlin, Aug 18, 1911; d Cambridge, MA, Sept 6, 2006).

German historian of antiquity and the Middle Ages, active also in Italy and America. Bloch was trained at the University of Berlin under the historian of ancient Greece Werner Jaeger, art historian Gerhart Rodenwaldt and medievalist Erich Caspar from 1930 until 1933, when the rise of National Socialism convinced him to move to Rome. There he received his tesi di laurea in ancient history in 1935 and his diploma di perfezionamento in 1937. He then participated in the excavations at Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, which was an important site in the revival of Italian archaeology under Fascism. At the outbreak of World War II, he immigrated to the USA, and began his teaching career in 1941 at Harvard University’s Department of Classics, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. His experience of totalitarianism shaped both his personal and professional beliefs.

Bloch applied a deep knowledge of epigraphy, history and material culture, art history, literary and archival sources to his research and he had a propensity for uncovering the significance of new or neglected evidence. One such area was Roman history. His first publications, on ancient Rome’s brick stamps (many of which he discovered ...

Article

Bobbio  

Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

and Gaya [Bodhgayā and Gayā]

Pilgrimage centres and towns located on the Phalagu (Niranjana) River in Bihar, India. From an early date Gaya has been a site for the performance of śrāddha, rites for recently deceased parents. This ancient tradition and the general sanctity of Gaya in the 5th century bc probably drew Siddhartha Gautama to its outskirts, to the place now known as Bodhgaya, where, following profound meditation, he became a Buddha (Enlightened One). The tree under which he meditated (the bodhi tree) became an object of veneration; initially it was surrounded by a hypaethral temple (Pali bodhighara), the general form of which is known from relief sculptures of the 2nd–1st centuries bc at Bodhgaya and other sites (see also Indian subcontinent, §III, 3). A stone slab (Skt vajrāsana) at the site, dating to the 3rd century bc, carries motifs similar to those found on contemporary Mauryan pillars (see...

Article

Mary Ellen Miller

Site of a Maya ceremonial center in the tropical rainforest of the Chiapas, Mexico, that flourished around the end of the 8th century ce. Bonampak is best known for its colorful and complex wall paintings, which are the most complete indigenous examples in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The paintings, brought to modern attention by Giles Healey in 1946, are preserved in situ on the walls of a fragile three-room building known as Structure 1. A full-scale replica building holds color copies of the paintings in the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City. The rest of the site is still largely unexcavated, but several fine sculptures have also been found.

The paintings in Structure 1 were commissioned in 791 ce to celebrate various events in the reign of the last known Bonampak king, Yajaw Chaan Muwan (reg. 775–? ce), and after his death, when young lords competed to be successor. In ...