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Joan K. Lingen

Pre-Columbian site, sometimes referred to as the Temple Site, near Penonomé on the Río Caño, Coclé Province, central Panama. Major excavation was undertaken in 1925 by Hyatt Verrill, who referred to El Caño as a large ceremonial precinct with rows of stone columns, of which at least 100 had carved human or animal figures up to 2.1 m tall. The ceramics from El Caño are so similar to the elaborate polychrome ware from Sitio Conte, c. 5 km to the south, that the two sites must have been contemporaneous. Olga Linares interpreted El Caño as a funerary or ceremonial centre or both, used from c. ad 500 until c. 900 and then abandoned. Nevertheless, the site was occupied at the time of the Spanish Conquest in the mid-16th century. The sculptures and associated ceramics have been acquired by numerous collections, including the Museo Nacional de Panamá, Panama City; the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York; and the Museum Rietberg, Zurich....


Don Denny

Numerical list of concordant passages in the Gospels, devised in the early 4th century by the historian Eusebios of Caesarea. Such tables indicate passages to be found in all four Gospels, those found in two or three of the Gospels and those unique to a particular Gospel. In medieval manuscripts they appear as a series of pages, varying from seven to as many as nineteen, placed at the front of Gospel books and often included, preceding the Gospels, in full Bibles. It was customary to surround them with ornament and, despite the wide geographical and chronological range of this practice, the basic decorative format remained fairly constant. The tables are divided and framed by representations of architectural columns surmounted by arcades or, occasionally, pediments; pictorial matter is concentrated in the upper part of the design, which might contain decorative and symbolic bird and plant motifs as well as more explicit illustrative features, such as the Evangelist symbols or the Twelve Apostles. In Eastern manuscripts the tables are sometimes preceded by two or three pages of introductory text, similarly framed by architectural designs, and a further page of related ornament (e.g. a tempietto) might be included at the beginning or end....


David M. Jones

Archaeological zone in north-west Arizona. Pre-Columbian sites in Canyon de Chelly are attributed to the Anasazi culture (c. 200 bcc. ad 1350) and were built between the 12th and 14th centuries ad when the Anasazi began to abandon their scattered small hamlets on cliff tops for fewer but larger settlements of cliff dwellings. These were constructed in the steep-sided, stream-cut main and subsidiary canyons with numerous overhanging cliffs; on the shelves of such overhangs the Anasazi built blocks of apartment-like structures constructed of adobe bricks or stone blocks (e.g. White House ruins). The removal of the Anasazi from plateau dwellings to cliff dwellings may have been for defence as aggression increased between groups (see also Mesa Verde). The earliest rooms often became storage rooms as later dwellings were built above and in front of them. The blocks were multi-storey and terraced, with access between terraces by wooden ladders. Inter-storey floors–ceilings were made with log rafters. Walls had key-hole and trapezoidal doorways and in some cases square windows. Open spaces in front of the blocks were excavated and filled to create level ceremonial areas, and circular, semi-subterranean ...


Lyn Rodley and Nicole Thierry

Region of central Anatolia, now in Turkey.

The region known in ancient times as Greater Cappadocia extends from Lake Tatta eastwards to the River Euphrates. It was bordered to the south by Cilicia, and to the north lay Pontus, which before the late 4th century bc had also formed part of Cappadocia. The region consists largely of a plateau divided by the Taurus and Antitaurus mountains, with volcanic areas in the west and around Erciyas Dağı (anc. Mt Argaeus) in the centre. Cappadocia has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times, and during the 2nd millennium bc it was part of the Hittite empire. Conquered by the Persians in 585 bc, it was ruled during the 4th–1st centuries bc by the descendants of the satrap Ariarathes (b c. 404 bc). In ad 17 Cappadocia became a Roman province, with its capital at Caesarea (now Kayseri).

Material from the Greco-Roman period is mostly limited to funerary stelae of poor quality found at various sites, but an inventory of Greco-Roman necropoleis has revealed that there was continuity between the pagan and Christian population. The medieval development of ...



Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase

Site of one of the largest Pre-Columbian Maya cities, on the eastern edge of the Maya mountains in the Vaca Plateau, Belize. It was occupied from c. 300 bc to ad 1250 and remained active during the Maya hiatus of c. ad 550–650. Although some distance from water, it had easy access to resources in the Maya mountains. Caracol was discovered in 1938 and first explored by Linton Satterthwaite (University of Pennsylvania) and A. Hamilton Anderson (first archaeological commissioner of Belize) in the 1950s. The central part of the site was mapped, several buildings and tombs were excavated, and a series of carved stone monuments was discovered. The iconography of the monuments indicates that Caracol developed a distinct regional style during the Early Classic period (c. ad 250–c. 600); this style was subsequently adopted in much of the Maya region. A. F. Chase and D. Z. Chase have documented the dominance of Caracol during the so-called Maya hiatus of ...


Susan Pinto Madigan

[Tsaritsin Grad, Tzaritchingrad; LatJustiniana Prima]

Site of an early Byzantine city located 30 km south-west of Leskovac in Serbia. The name means ‘the emperor’s fortress’, and it can almost certainly be identified with Justiniana Prima, which, according to Prokopios (b c. ad 500), Justinian I founded c. ad 525–50 in honour of his birthplace, Tauresium. The site occupies a high plateau between the rivers Svinjarica to the west and Caričina to the east; an aqueduct also brought water from the Petrova Gora, 17 km to the south, and entered the city at the south-west corner. Fortifications strengthened with towers and wide ditches surround the city (c. 500 m north–south by c. 215 m east–west), which is divided into two parts: an upper city area that contains a polygonal acropolis and a lower city to the south-east. Excavations, first undertaken in 1912 and continued from the 1940s, have shown that the city was destroyed within a century of its foundation, probably by the Avaro-Slavs, but it was briefly revived in the 9th and 10th centuries. Many of the finds are in the National Museum at Leskovac....


Joachim E. Gaehde

Term used to describe poems in which certain letters or words are contained within patterns or compositions to form independent phrases or verses within regular lines of continuous text (in which, for example, Christ’s halo contains the words ‘Rex regum et dominus dominorum’). Anticipated in Hellenistic poetry, carmina figurata were introduced to the Latin world c. ad 320 by Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, court poet of Constantine the Great. Porfyrius’ poems were widely copied and imitated in the early Middle Ages because the juxtaposition of poetic and visual configurations lent itself to the exposition of layers of theological thought. They were composed by Venantius Fortunatus (fl c. 530–610) and St Boniface (c. 680–754), among others, and appealed particularly to scholars of the Carolingian Renaissance. Alcuin of York (fl c. 735–804), his pupil Josephus Scotus (d 791) and Theodulph, Bishop of Orléans, all wrote ...


Ulrich Kuder, Charles B. McClendon, A. Dean McKenzie, Matthias Exner, Florentine Mütherich, Jane Geddes, Charles T. Little and Genevra Kornbluth

The art associated with Charlemagne, King of the Franks, from the last quarter of the 8th century AD, and with his successors, to the beginning of the 10th century. The territories they ruled comprise parts of present-day France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, an area that in the 9th century enjoyed great cultural and artistic unity derived from the fusion of Insular and other recent art forms with those of Late Antiquity. In its strictest sense, the term does not cover Charlemagne’s ancestors, the so-called Pepinists, nor the last Carolingian kings of France, Louis IV (reg 936–54), Lothair (reg 954–86), and Louis V (reg 986–7), although it is sometimes applied more widely. The term Carolingian was used as an art-historical concept by Kugler in 1837, followed in 1839 by Waagen. Kugler was also the first scholar to characterize the style of Carolingian art.

As the stewards of the Merovingian Frankish kings (...


Heather Pulliam

Term usually applied to the full-page ornamental designs that occur in Insular Gospel books. Carpet pages typically occur at the beginning of a section of text and several scholars have argued that they may serve an apotropaic function, marking the viewer’s entrance into the sacred text. Michelle Brown has also suggested that these pages could refer to the temple veil as well as to the silk cloth that was sometimes used to cover and protect painted images within manuscripts.

The designs typically incorporate abstract Christian symbolism such as the marigold, cross, and tri-knot. These motifs, as well as other geometric designs, play upon Christian number symbolism: the trinity (3), the four Evangelists and quadripartite world (4), Christ’s death and suffering (6), the resurrection (8), the perfection of God (10), and the apostles and tribes of Israel (12). The carpet page shares a number of common features with Insular stone-carving, especially the cross slabs found in Scotland. Complex geometry and proportions underlie the designs of these pages....


Simon P. Ellis

Ruined city on the North African coast at the end of a narrow peninsula pointing into the Bay of Tunis. Now an archaeological site at the edge of Tunis itself, Carthage was founded, according to legend, by the Phoenician queen Elyssa in 814 bc. It became a major Mediterranean power until its destruction by the Romans in 146 bc. Carthage flourished as a Roman city, Christianity reaching it by the 2nd century ad. The city was revived by Emperor Justinian, but it was finally destroyed by the Arabs in ad 698.

For later history see Tunis.

In the 6th and 5th centuries bc the city’s interventions in disputes between the Greek and Phoenician city states of Sicily made Carthage the leading western Phoenician colony, and it formed a close alliance with the Etruscans. From the 5th century bc the Carthaginians spread into the African hinterland, eventually controlling the area that is today the northern half of Tunisia. They also concluded three alliances with the newly emergent power of Rome. Further conflict in Sicily, however, precipitated (...


(c. ad 485–580).

Roman statesman, monk and writer. He was a relation of the philosopher Boethius (c. 480–525) and was born into a leading south Italian family of landowners and civil servants. His rhetorical talents commended him to Theoderic the Great, the Ostrogothic ruler of Italy (reg 493–526); he served as consul in 514 and was intermittently a prominent minister and propagandist of successive Ostrogothic rulers. He was a friend of the scholar–monk Dionysius Exiguus (fl 520) and, with Pope Agapetus I (reg 535–6), planned a Christian university at Rome. Following the Byzantine reconquest of Italy in 542, he moved to Constantinople. He returned to Italy c. 552 to live a religious life in the monastery of Vivarium, which he founded on his Calabrian estates. His numerous writings include a collection of state documents, the Variae, which reveal much about the culture and values of the Ostrogothic regime and about Rome’s public monuments, buildings and conservation under it. His ...


Delia Kottmann

Italian village in Lazio, north of Rome, known for its church. The church of SS Anastasius and Nonnosus is all that remains of the 6th-century Benedictine monastery, which submitted to Cluny in ad 940. Apart from some re-used fragments, the architecture is Romanesque, with a Cosmati pavement in opus sectile as well as an ambo and ciborium. The church is famous for its wall paintings from the first quarter of the 12th century. The apse and its adjacent walls, showing the 24 elders, are influenced by Romano–Christian motifs. Christ in the middle of the conch is flanked by Peter and Paul in a Traditio legis depiction, with a procession of lambs below. Underneath, Maria Regina has to be reconstructed in the middle, between two conserved angels followed by female saints in a Byzantine manner. No Romano–Christian iconography seems to have influenced the vast apocalyptic cycle painted on the side walls of the transept. A band of prophets runs beneath the roof on all the walls of the transept. An inscription in the apse indicates three Roman painters....


Marco Carminati

[anc. Sibrium]

Italian village in Lombardy, 14 km south of Varese, with a population of c. 1000. It was an important town from the Early Christian period to the late Middle Ages and its architectural and artistic remains were rediscovered, excavated and studied after World War II following centuries of dereliction. In the 4th or 5th century a fortified settlement called Sibrium was established in the hilly area between present-day Milan and Varese. It played an important military and strategic role and was soon granted a parish church, with jurisdiction over a vast territory stretching from Lake Lugano to the gates of Milan. Under the Lombards (569–774) it became the regional administrative centre. During the Carolingian period the surrounding region of Seprio experienced substantial prosperity and independence. Around the year 1000, however, its fortunes turned owing to the desire of the increasingly powerful cities of Como and Milan to extend their influence over this rich and strategically significant territory. Castelseprio sided with Frederick Barbarossa in his conflict with the ...


Bernard Meehan

[Psalter of St Columba]

Irish Psalter (Dublin, Royal Irish Acad., MS. 12.R.33) that can be dated to c. ad 600 and is perhaps the earliest surviving Irish manuscript. It was traditionally believed to have been written by St Colum Cille (St Columba; d 597). As the chief relic of the O’Donnell family, the Cathach (‘battler’) and its shrine (Dublin, N. Mus.) were carried into battle to ensure victory. According to a late medieval tradition, the Cathach is identified as the copy, made at night by St Colum Cille, of a Psalter lent to him by St Finnian. When a dispute arose over the ownership of the copy, King Diarmait Mac Cerbhail stated, ‘To every cow her calf, to every book its copy’, a judgement frequently cited as an early example of copyright law.

The Cathach is incomplete at its beginning and end. From an original size of around 110 folios, it now has 58 folios, with a text running consecutively from Psalms 30.10–105.13. The script used is an early version of Irish majuscule. There are rubrics (in red ink) and enlarged initial words for each psalm, normally written using the technique of diminuendo (where the letters are written in diminishing size until they reach the size of the text block), and often surrounded with red dots. A variety of trumpet spiral, cross, fish and other decorative devices is employed. All of the surviving leaves have suffered damage through contact with the shrine, the hinged wooden box, covered with ornamental gilded silver and bronze plates from varying dates, in which it was encased late in the 11th century....


Javier Rivera

Spanish monastery in the town of Celanova in the province of Orense, Galicia. It was founded in 936 by the bishop and monk St Rosendo (d 977), who was also abbot of the monastery from 959 until his death. The monastery belonged to the Benedictine Order and was dedicated to St Salvador. The oldest and most important part of the monastery, the chapel of St Michael of Celanova, founded in the 10th century by St Rosendo, is located in the former novitiate’s garden. It comprises a small pre-Romanesque, Mozarabic oratory that can be dated to the fourth decade of the 10th century, as the monastery was consecrated in 942. Its architectural language and its spatial concepts belong to contemporaneous art developed in the kingdom of León, with similarities to such buildings as Santiago de Peñalba and Santa Comba de Bande and drawing on Asturian, Visigothic, and Islamic influences. Its ground-plan covers an area of 22 sq. m, and the chapel reaches a maximum height of 6 m. It is composed of three spatial units arranged longitudinally. The first unit contains the access door on its south side; it has a square ground-plan and a horseshoe arch along its axis. The next unit, slightly larger in area and of a greater height, has a rectangular ground-plan and has a ribbed vault resting on arches with lobed pendentives. The chancel is entered via a horseshoe arch that is framed by an ...


J. V. S. Megaw and M. Ruth Megaw

Style of European Iron Age art (see also Prehistoric Europe, §VI). The term is used to describe the distinctive art produced by the La Tène culture (named after the site of La Tène in Switzerland), which flourished c. 450–c. 50 bc in temperate continental Europe, extending to c. ad 600 in Britain and Ireland. (The Iron Age or Celto-Iberian art of Spain and Portugal is not considered here; see Iberian art.) The term Celtic art is also sometimes considered to include the later phase of the Hallstatt culture (c. 750–c. 450 bc) and the much later Early Christian art of Britain and Ireland (c. ad 450 onwards), which was greatly influenced by prehistoric La Tène art (see Insular art).

The Celts, according to Greek and Roman writers, were one of the great barbarian peoples of Europe. They cannot be easily defined on a racial or linguistic basis; indeed, the very name Keltoi was imposed on them by outsiders and not generally used by themselves. Although it is usually assumed that the material culture of the ...


Yi Sŏng-mi

[cha Haech’ŏn; ho Koun]

(b Kyŏngju, North Kyŏngsang Province, 857; d 915).

Korean calligrapher. He is considered to be one of the two most prominent calligraphers of the Unified Silla period (668–918), the other being Kim Saeng. Ch’oe was also a famous statesman, Confucian scholar and man of letters. In 868, at the age of 12, he travelled to China, and in 874 he passed the Chinese civil service examination for foreign scholars. In 885 Ch’oe returned to Korea and served in various official capacities.

Several examples of his calligraphy survive in the form of stelae, the most famous of which is the Chin’gam sŏnsa taegong t’appi (887), a stele dedicated to the Sŏn Buddhist master Chin’gam and now in the Ssanggye-sa Temple, Hadong, South Kyŏngsang Province. The title in seal script and the main text in regular script show his calligraphy at its best. In character composition Ch’oe seems to have modelled his calligraphy loosely on the style of the Chinese master Ouyang Tong (...



Yu. F. Buryakov

[Sogdian-Pers. Chach, Chachstan; Arab. Shāsh; Chin. Shi, Chzheshi]

Ancient state centred on the Tashkent Oasis on the north bank of the Syr River in Uzbekistan. From medieval times its chief city has been known increasingly as Tashkent. Although the small domain of Chach was assimilated by a semi-nomadic state in the first centuries bc, the name Chach is first attested in the Sasanian inscription at Naqsh-i Rustam (ad 262) near Persepolis and subsequently found at Dunhuang (4th century), Afrasiab (Old Samarkand; 7th century) and in Chinese and Arabic sources. From the 3rd to the 7th century Chach was a small but powerful kingdom of farmers and herders linked to the nomads of the steppe. Agriculture was made possible by an advanced irrigation system comprising more than 50 canals. Gold, silver, copper and turquoise were mined in the mountain and steppe regions, and 13 mountain communities dating from antiquity have been discovered as well as 30 from the medieval period. In the northern regions the economy developed along the great Silk Route....


W. Iain Mackay

Series of Pre-Columbian cultures that flourished in Chachapoyas Province, Department of Amazonas, northern highland Peru, tentatively dated between the 10th and the 15th centuries ad. The region lies partly in the Andean highlands and partly in the high rainforest of the Amazon Basin, at heights ranging between 3000 m and 1800 m above sea level. The large number of planned fortified cities and settlements located along the upper reaches of the Utcubamba River includes such sites as Kuelap, Yalap, Levanto, Revash and Vituya Viejo. Some of these may date from the Middle Horizon (c. ad 600–c. 1000), and continued in use until the arrival of the Spaniards. In 1950 Henri Reichlen and Paule Reichlen postulated a chronology for the region, beginning with the occupation of Kuelap and ending with Revash.

In his Comentarios reales the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega refers to the conquest of the Chachas...


R. Gwinn Vivian

Archaeological zone of Pre-Columbian towns and roads in North America, in the San Juan Basin, north-western New Mexico. Chaco Canyon was the centre from c. ad 850–1150 of Chacoan culture, one manifestation of the Anasazi tradition, and considered ancestral to contemporary Pueblo peoples of the Southwest. A community of at least 12 multi-storey, tiered ‘great houses’ and hundreds of contemporaneous single storey ‘small house sites’ were built within a 15 km sector of the canyon. ‘Great houses’ were constructed with core walls with veneer masonry and ranged from 80 to 580 rooms. Small houses were of simpler masonry and averaged about 20 rooms each. Both types were domestic structures, but also contained round ceremonial rooms known as kivas (see Kiva). ‘Great kivas’, up to 18 m in diameter, are restricted to ‘great houses’ or occur as isolated buildings. ‘Great houses’ are associated with elaborate water-control systems that collected and diverted rainfall run-off to gridded agricultural fields. ‘Great houses’ in the canyon itself were linked to ‘outlier’ communities on the peripheries of the San Juan Basin by wide (...