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Kirman  

Abbas Daneshvari

[Kirmān, Kerman; formerly Beh-Ardashīr, Bardsīr]

Iranian city that was reputedly founded by the first Sasanian king, Ardashir I (reg ad 224–41), and that has been the capital of the province of the same name since the 10th century. A local school of manuscript illustration flourished there under the Muzaffarid dynasty (reg 1314–93; see Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(c)), and the city is an important centre of textile production, renowned since the 16th century for its carpets and shawls (see Islamic art, §VI, 2(iii)(c) and 4(iv)(c)).

The earliest surviving monuments in Kirman are the Qal‛a-i Ardashir and the Qal‛a-i Dukhtar, ruined fortifications of indeterminate date attributed to Ardashir I. City walls were built when Kirman replaced Sirjan as provincial capital, but, removed from the major centres of power and from invasion routes, the city has often enjoyed protracted periods of peace and prosperity under local dynasties and governors who served for unusually long terms. A number of buildings date from the period between ...

Article

Alison Stones

French town in the Dordogne that grew up on the site of Roman Vesunna. Roman remains include the arena, temple and villa, the latter now the site of a museum of Roman art designed by Jean Nouvel. Several medieval houses preserve fragments of 13th-century wall paintings. The former medieval cathedral dedicated to St Etienne is located between the temple and arena and preserves several bays of its early 12th-century choir with a flat east end vaulted with domes on pendentives. Similar domes are found at the 12th-century abbey church of St Front, originally outside the walls and since 1669 the cathedral. St Front has a Greek-cross plan like that of the Holy Apostles (destr.) in Constantinople and St Mark’s in Venice. It was restored by Paul Abadie, architect of Sacré-Coeur, Paris, who endowed both buildings with ‘pepper-pot’ turrets. Fragments of early 12th-century sculpture from St Front survive at the Musée du Périgord in Périgueux, some from the tomb of St Fronto described in the mid-12th-century Pilgrims Guide to Santiago de Compostela, where it is claimed that Fronto was sent to Périgueux by St Peter. Other medieval holdings in the museum include the Diptych of Rabastens (Tarn), the founding charter of the Confraternity of the Assumption, containing the names of the founding members beneath scenes of the ...

Article

Tours  

Henri Galinie, Rosamond D. McKitterick, Isabelle Denis and Gordon Campbell

French city on the River Loire, préfecture of Indre-et-Loire, with a population of c. 136,500. It was an important centre for the production of manuscripts in the Carolingian period and for tapestry-weaving in 16th and 17th centuries. The church of St Martin (destr.) was an important pilgrimage site in the medieval period.

Henri Galinie

There was a Gallic settlement (Artionis) to the north of the Loire, but the Roman town of Caesarodunum was on the south bank. It was probably an unenclosed settlement covering 40 densely populated hectares. In the 1st century ad a plan provided for settlement, and cemeteries were located at a distance from the town centre to allow Caesarodunum to grow. The settlement, the capital of the Turones, had the status of a free city state (civitas libera). It was created to accelerate Romanization and compete with nearby traditional Gaulish settlements. The Roman town remained small; indeed, archaeological research shows that the original site set aside was never fully utilized and that the settlement began to shrink after ...