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Deborah Howard

[Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt Carmel]

Monastic order apparently founded c. 1150 near the fountain of Elijah on Mt Carmel in the Holy Land. The earliest Carmelites were hermits living in conditions of great austerity. Around 1240 they fled from Saracen invaders and re-established themselves as a mendicant order in Western Europe, where they substituted white, hooded habits for their striped robes and subsequently became known as the White Friars. They were no longer eremetical except in a few rural houses such as Hulne in Northumberland, England. From their monasteries in such university towns as Oxford, Cambridge, Paris and Bologna they took a full part in university life as both students and teachers and acquired a reputation for scholarship.

The Carmelite Order was subject to one of the most important reforms of the Counter-Reformation. Its leader was the devout Spanish mystic St Teresa of Ávila (1515–82; can 1622), whose reformed branch, known as the Discalced (or barefoot) Carmelites, was founded in ...


Brenda M. Bolton

[Fr. Chartreux, It. Certosini, Ger. Kartäuser]

Monastic order founded in 1084 by St Bruno (c. 1030–1101; can 1514), a canon of St Cunibert in Cologne. The Order took its name from that of the mountainous site of the mother house at La Grande Chartreuse in the diocese of Grenoble (Isère). The Order has never been reformed; such continuity over more than 900 years is unique. The way of life of the first Carthusians, characterized by total dedication to contemplation through silence, assiduous prayer, poverty, penance, and almost continuous occupancy of a solitary cell, impressed contemporaries with its novelty. Bruno set out to deepen the essential ideals of monasticism through the strictest separation from the world, combined with an intense desire to set aside time for God (‘vacare Deo’). His followers led an eremitical life, inspired by biblical models and the Fathers of Egypt and Palestine, but partially tempered by cenobitism, which allowed for the practicalities of survival in the particularly harsh environment chosen by the Order. The early Carthusians did not represent a criticism of established Benedictine monasticism (...



Roger Stalley

[Cashel of the Kings]

Fortified ecclesiastical site in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The rock of Cashel, surmounted by its cluster of medieval buildings, rises high above the surrounding plain. The limestone outcrop was a natural fortress, occupied from the 4th century ad by the kings of Munster. Its known architectural history did not begin until 1101, when King Murtough O’Brien (d 1119) handed it over to the Church. In 1111 Cashel became one of the major ecclesiastical centres of Ireland through the establishment of an archbishopric there. As well as the ruins of the Gothic cathedral, there survive a round tower, an exquisite Romanesque chapel (Cormac’s Chapel), a 12th-century high cross (St Patrick’s Cross), the Hall of the Vicars-choral, and the remains of a fortified house belonging to the archbishops.

The earliest building is the Round Tower (27.94 m high), evidently erected shortly after 1101, a date that accords with its well-dressed sandstone masonry (there is no evidence to support traditional claims for a date in the 9th or 10th century). Originally free-standing, the tower heralded the new religious status of the rock. Doorways in round towers usually point towards the main church, and at Cashel this indicates that the first cathedral was located at the east end of the later Gothic chancel. The first cathedral was replaced by a second in ...


Mariapia Branchi

[Schloss Tirol]

Castle on a hilltop dominating the Merano valley, near Bolzano, in the Alto Adige, northern Italy, which was the seat of the counts of Tyrol. Its strategic position controlling the transalpine road network persuaded the medieval German emperors to devolve the county’s power on the prince-bishops of Trent, Brixen, Coira, and Salzburg, all close to the imperial lineage. This situation hindered the local nobility in establishing power. The castle was built in four phases (before 1100; after 1138; around 1174; and from the mid-14th century to the present), although the collapse of the eastern section in the 17th century, some minor renovation work at the end of the 15th century, and extensive alterations in the 18th century have caused problems in trying to reconstruct the entire history of its construction.

Two Romanesque stone portals are preserved. The first, at the entrance to the great hall, has pairs of lions and rams on either side of the entrance, representing justice and the power of the counts. Beneath these figures are groups of people. Almost all of the group of figures to the right is missing, but the group on the left has been identified as the brothers Alberto and Bertoldo with their wives: the first lords of Tyrol (documented in ...


H. V. Trivedi

[Cāhamāna; Chahamanas of Rajasthan; Chauhan]

Indian Rajput clan, several branches of which ruled in Rajasthan from medieval times. The earliest Chahamanas originated with Vasudeva, who established himself at Sakambhari, or Sambhar, near Jaipur, in the early 7th century ad. This house came into prominence when one of its scions, Durlabharaja, a feudatory of the Gurjara-Pratihara king Vatsaraja (reg c. 777–808), defeated Dharmapala of Bengal (reg c. 781–812) in the last quarter of the 8th century. The Chahamana dominions extended to Sikar, where they built an impressive Shiva temple in the 10th century. To the north of Sikar was the kingdom of the Tomaras of Delhi, with whom the Chahamanas were on hostile terms: one of their records states that Chandna, a scion of the dynasty, defeated and killed the Tomara prince Rudra (Rudrena) in the 9th century. The last ruler of the house was Prithviraja III (reg c. 1178–92), who, after a glorious career of conquest, fell fighting with Muhammad Ghur (...



Collegiate church in Champagne, Marne, France. A chapel is known to have existed on the site from at least the 9th century ad. The church was a regular centre of pilgrimage, particularly after 1128, when an epidemic swept the country. In the 12th century Notre-Dame-en-Vaux was under the patronage of the cathedral chapter, but the canons of Notre-Dame vigorously resented any intervention in their administration. Conflicts easily flared up, culminating in a dispute (1180–87) concerning legal rights and prebends.

In 1157 a tower collapsed, initiating the complete reconstruction of the church. The first building campaign (1157–c. 1175) involved the lower levels of the nave and transept. At the same time, a cloister with an important sculptural programme was erected on the north side of the nave. After c. 1180 the construction of the church was interrupted, perhaps owing to the dispute with the cathedral chapter. It is likely that the cloister was already finished at that time. The church was completed in a second campaign from ...



Jane Feltham

Pre-Columbian culture of South America. It centred on the Chancay Valley of the central Peruvian coast, ranging north and south to the Fortaleza and Lurín valleys, and is known for its distinctive pottery and textile styles. Chancay culture flourished between c. ad 1100 and 1470, under Chimú rulership in the 15th century. Vessels and textiles have been found at such sites as Cerro Trinidad, Lauri and Pisquillo, mostly in graves covered with stout timbers and a layer of earth.

Chancay vessels were made by coiling; modelled features sometimes occur, but elaborate jars were moulded. The fabric, fired to a light orange, is thin and porous. Some vessels are covered with a plain white slip, but most are also painted with brownish-black designs. Forms include bowls, goblets, tumblers, cylindrical jars and ovoid jars with rounded bases and narrow, bulging necks that sometimes end in a flaring rim. Vessel heights range from 60 mm for bowls to 750 mm for jars. Animals (especially birds and reptiles) and humans are frequently modelled on the upper shoulder or around a handle. More elaborate jars are zoomorphic or consist of two flasks connected by a bridge. Some show scenes, such as a dignitary being carried on a litter. Vertical black bands often divide design areas, within which are patterns of stripes, wavy lines, crosshatching, diamonds, triangles and dots, chequers, volutes and stylized birds or fishes, sometimes in assymetrical halves. Characteristic of the style are large, necked jars with faces (known as ...


Michael D. Willis

[Candella; Candrātreya; Candrella]

Dynasty of Rajputs who ruled parts of northern India from the 9th century to the early 14th. The Chandellas were an important regional house that came into prominence with the decline of the imperial Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty in the mid-10th century. Best-known for their patronage of temple architecture at Khajuraho, the Chandellas were at the height of power under Yashovarman (c. 925–54) and Dhangadeva (c. 954–1002). The region they ruled, now called Bundelkhand, is bounded on the north by the River Yamuna, on the east by the River Tons and on the west by the River Betwa. During Chandella times this territory was called Jejakabhukti or Jejakadesha after the ruler Jayashakti (Pkt Jejā or Jejjāka), who ruled c. 865–85. The important centres of Chandella power were Mahoba, Ajayagarh and Kalanjara. The interesting ruins of the fort of Kalanjara have yet to be thoroughly studied.

The earliest known record of the Chandella dynasty is the Lakshmana Temple inscription from ...




Neil Stratford

Cluniac abbey, then priory church dedicated to SS Stephen and Fortunatus, in Loire, France. Founded by ad 875 (not 872) in the diocese of Mâcon, the abbey was given to Abbot Odo of Cluny in 932 by Pope John XI; it was reduced to the rank of a priory in the mid-11th century. The priory was suppressed in 1787 and subsequently sold; the eastern parts of the nave and the east end were razed in 1800. Numerous stone fragments, many possibly from the church, are on display in the cloister and other monastic buildings.

The earliest building seems to have had a long, aisleless nave and a choir terminating in an apse, surrounded by a half-sunk ambulatory with a single axial chapel. It may have been altered in a second campaign, dated by Sunderland to the period after 932. The Romanesque church had an aisled nave of five bays, a projecting transept and an east end with five apses in echelon; its single surviving nave bay has a two-storey elevation and a barrel vault. The capitals form a coherent series, decorated with palmettes, acanthus, heads, animal masks and ...



James D’Emilio

Legal document typically written in documentary script on a single parchment sheet and authenticated by subscriptions, notarial signs or seals. In archives, originals were sometimes stitched into booklets or rolls. Notarial charters were registered, while deeds of ecclesiastical and civil institutions were copied in cartularies organized by place, date or issuer. Charters include contracts, property transactions, marriage agreements, dispute settlements, official privileges and decrees.

Besides their value as historical documents, collections of early medieval charters, such as those at St Gall, Lucca or Catalonia, furnish insights into law, literacy and linguistic change. In the mid- to late Middle Ages, the texts, scripts and physical features of papal bulls, charters from monastic or episcopal scriptoria, and the burgeoning output of royal chanceries and civil notaries chart pathways of education and cultural exchange geographically and through social strata. In relation to medieval art, charters have fourfold importance. As historical sources, some document artists, patrons or artworks. Signed and dated originals of known provenance help to date manuscripts and reveal practices of scribes and scriptoria responsible for book production and illumination. In contrast with the dearth of medieval artists’ signatures, signed charters represent a sizeable corpus of securely attributed work with ample contextual information that facilitates study of individual style and artistic careers. Lastly, some are of artistic interest for their execution in a book hand or embellishment with decoration comparable to that in manuscripts: decorated lettering; calligraphic flourishes; the chrismon, cross and other religious symbols; validation signs, monograms and seals; and, rarely, illuminations....


Jean Mesqui

Castle at Les Andelys, Normandy, France. Richard I of England built the stronghold, of great originality, in 1197–8 on the cliffs overlooking the River Seine, in order to protect Rouen and Normandy from Philip Augustus of France, to whom he had already lost several places, including Gisors. According to legend, the castle was planned by Richard himself; he certainly took an active interest in it, but the castle fell to the siege of 1203–4, leaving Philip free to enter Normandy. The plan was in harmony with the well-chosen site, a long spur connected with the plateau by a narrow tongue of land. The exposed position produced an almond-shaped (or ‘tear-drop’) solution, the point facing towards the direction of attack from the plateau (see fig.). The shape was also reflected in the plan of the donjon.

The main almond was divided into two separate structures, the point serving as an outwork, an outer bailey or barbican, with the entrance in the usual position at right angles to the principal structure. The main part of the castle, separated from the outwork by a moat, was further divided by a curtain wall encircling the nucleus of the whole ensemble, which constituted one of the high points of medieval military architecture. Finally, a donjon formed the fourth line of defence. The design was further refined by the systematic use of circular flanking towers provided with arrow loops: there were at least four such towers on the outwork and three on the main curtain wall, the efficiency of which was increased by a rectangular flanking tower with battered spurs at the corners, in the English tradition. The inner bailey wall, which is protected by a moat, is built to a design in which mathematical theory outweighs functional considerations: its continuous curve is entirely composed of a series of segmental projections. The effectiveness of this design is debatable; but its importance lies in the designer’s concern to do better, with the scientific aid of square and compass, than an ordinary master of the works. Another sophisticated aspect of this extraordinary castle is the keeled plan of the donjon. This is similar to that of nearby La Roche Guyon, but influence is more appropriately sought in Poitou, then under English domination (e.g. Le Coudray-Salbert, nr Parthenay, Deux-Sèvres). Even more remarkable, however, is the detail of the ‘arched’ machicolations supported on thick corbels springing from halfway up the wall and growing wider towards the top (...


Jean-Pierre Chapuisat

Castle in Vaud Canton, Switzerland, situated on the shore of Lake Geneva (Leman), between Montreux and Villeneuve. Much of its reputation is due to literary descriptions, especially those by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (La Nouvelle Héloïse, 1761), Percy Bysshe Shelley (History of a Six Weeks’ Tour, London, 1817), and Lord Byron (The Prisoner of Chillon, 1816). Chillon Castle is first recorded in 1150, but it may have been constructed several decades earlier, as the lower part of the donjon and the old chapel appear to date back to the 11th century. Its position, on a rocky outcrop on the lake, enabled it to control the road leading to Italy over the Simplon and Great St Bernard passes, at the point where the road is confined between the steep mountain slopes and the lake shore. The castle was progressively enlarged and its defences reinforced by the counts of Savoy, ...



John R. Topic

Pre-Columbian kingdom on the north coast of Peru; the term is also used of an associated culture and art style. Chimú art developed, from earlier roots, during the period c. ad 850–1000, flourished from c. 1000 to 1470, and continued, with modifications, into Spanish colonial times. The Chimú capital, Chan Chan, may have been founded as early as ad 850, but the kingdom did not attain more than local importance until c. ad 1200. Although both were centred in the Moche Valley, the precise relationship between Chimú and the earlier Moche culture is uncertain, particularly because the nature of Huari cultural intrusion on Moche culture is unclear. At the peak of its expansion, c. 1470, the Chimú kingdom controlled the entire northern coast of Peru from the modern border of Ecuador southward almost to Lima. Within this area there were several local styles before the Chimú conquest, and the Chimú sometimes borrowed techniques and motifs. The Chimú were themselves conquered in the final quarter of the 15th century by the ...



J. Marr


Dynasty in south India that was prominent until the 13th century ad. The Cholas, best known for their patronage of temple architecture, were one of the principal royal lineages of the Tamil country. They are mentioned in the edicts of Ashoka (3rd century bc) and figure in the earliest Tamil literature (1st–4th century ad). However, little archaeological evidence exists for the Cholas before the 9th century ad. The first ruler, Vijayalaya (reg c. 846–71), captured Thanjavur from his Pallava overlords. Aditya I (reg c. 871–907) annexed the Pallava kingdom in Tondaimandalam (now Tamil Nadu) in 903, and Parantaka I (reg c. 907–55) attacked and conquered the Pandya rulers of Madurai. The two greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja I (reg 985–1014) and his son Rajendra I (reg 1012–44), made co-regent in 1012. Apart from their conquests, which extended from Sri Lanka to Sumatra, they were responsible for splendid temple buildings. That at Thanjavur, the ...


Roderick Whitfield

[ Yen Tz’u-p’ing ]

( fl 1163–89).

Chinese painter . He was the son of an Academy painter, Yan Zhong, originally from Shanxi Province; Yan Zhong served under Emperor Huizong (reg 1101–25) and moved south to serve under Emperor Gaozong (reg 1127–62). Yan Ciping served as daizhao (‘painter in attendance’) under the latter and his successor Xiaozong (reg 1163–90). Together with his brother, Yan Ciyu, he painted landscapes, figures and buffaloes, surpassing his father’s achievement. Towards the end of his career, Emperor Xiaozong rewarded him with distinctions and official positions. Both Yan Ciping and Yan Ciyu (album leaves by whom are in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the National Palace Museum, Taipei) are regarded as having made an important contribution to the transformation of landscape painting begun by Li Tang (see Edwards).

Yan Ciping’s work is known from a few paintings only. One is a signed circular fan painting, Villa by the Pine Path...


Brenda M. Bolton

Religious order, based on a strict interpretation of the Rule of St Benedict, which expanded rapidly during the 12th century. On account of its centralized organization and unanimity of observance, it may be considered the first monastic order.

In 1098 Robert (1027–1110), the former abbot of St Michel, Tonnerre, suddenly left Molesme Abbey, a reformed Benedictine house that he had founded in 1075. Accompanied by a group of like-minded monks he went in search of a naturally austere location where they could follow the Rule of St Benedict more strictly and perfectly (see Benedictine Order, §1). The ideal site to start their new monastery, remote and suitably isolated from all habitation, was found at Cistercium, south of Dijon in the diocese of Chalon-sur-Saône, on land granted by Renaud, Vicomte de Beaune, with material support from Odo I, Duke of Burgundy (reg 1079–1102). The beginnings of ...


Terryl N. Kinder


Former Cistercian abbey in Burgundy, France, the mother house of the Cistercian Order. Early in 1098 some 20 monks, led by St Robert of Molesme (1027–1110), left Molesme Abbey and founded the ‘Novum Monasterium’, as Cîteaux was known until c. 1120. Their intention was to return to a literal interpretation of the Rule of St Benedict, which would require a simplification of the liturgy and manual labour for all monks. It remains uncertain whether the place-name was derived from the site (cisterna; ‘boggy land’) or from Cîteaux’s location on the old Roman road between Langres and Chalon-sur-Saône, ‘this side of the third milestone’ (cis tertium lapidem miliarium).

The monks originally settled at La Forgeotte on property donated by Renaud, Vicomte de Beaune: the only remaining trace is a well. The location proved to be swampy, and a year or so later the monks moved 1.6 km to the south, where they built permanent quarters, keeping La Forgeotte as a farm (...


Peter Diemer

Church near Lecco, in Lombardy, Italy. It is famous for its Romanesque stucco and painted decoration. The first reference to a Benedictine monastery at Civate occurs in a Liber confraternitatum of Pfäfers Abbey of c. 845, which lists the names of 35 monks. According to legend, the monastery was founded by Desiderius, King of the Lombards, in thanksgiving for the miraculous healing of his son from blindness by a local hermit, Durus, who became the first abbot. It is unclear whether this first monastery was situated next to S Pietro, the site of Durus’s hermitage, or in the village of Civate in the valley below, where it was certainly located by the 11th century. The later use of S Pietro and the reason for its expensive restoration by the Benedictines are also uncertain.

S Pietro al Monte has been preserved from the ruin that has overtaken most of the buildings surrounding it. Built of limestone, the church is decorated with pilasters and arch-friezes and consists of a rectangular hall with open timber ceiling and apses at either end. The double apse is reminiscent of great churches north of the Alps (cf. the St Gall monastery plan; ...