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Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....

Article

Richard Gem, Carola Hicks, David Park, Janet Backhouse, Leslie Webster and Mildred Budny

Art of the period in England between the Germanic invasions of the later 5th century ad and the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Richard Gem

The invading Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and possibly Frisians settled all over lowland England, bringing their Germanic culture (see Migration period) and establishing kingdoms—the Jutes and Saxons in the south and the Anglians in the east, Mercia (the Midlands), and what became Northumbria, north of the River Humber. The native British were pushed into Wales and the far south-west, and paganism replaced the Christianity that had survived from late Roman times. Artefacts from this period consist largely of burial goods recovered from excavated cemeteries.

New Christian missions arrived in Kent from Italy and Frankish Gaul in the late 6th century (see Canterbury, §I) and in Northumbria from Ireland and Scotland in the 7th, resulting in the gradual conversion of all the kingdoms and the adoption of the Roman liturgy after 664. The conversion to Christianity encouraged not only the construction of stone buildings and crosses, but also the production of liturgical books, vessels, and vestments, many of which survive. Although a Mediterranean-based culture was transmitted via the Merovingians (...

Article

One of the few surviving, early medieval, Latin technical treatises. Its attribution, localization, and dating rest largely on internal evidence variously interpreted and inconclusive. The treatise now comprises three books: it is generally agreed that Books I and II, written in verse by one hand at some time between the 7th and 12th centuries, constitute the original text; Book III, written in prose, was added piecemeal during the 12th and 13th centuries. The treatise is commonly attributed to (H)Eraclius, who is cited as the author in Books I and III but probably wrote only Books I and II. It is not known whether he was a native of Italy or a northerner promoting his knowledge of Roman techniques, and accordingly De coloribus has been located to either Italy or northern Europe.

Relatively complete versions of the text survive in two manuscripts, both accompanied by Theophilus’s treatise De diversis artibus (extracts of the text within compilations of technical material are more common): the first (ex-Trinity Coll., Cambridge, MS. R. 15 5; London, BL, Egerton MS. 840 A) is German and dated ...

Article

Lawrence Nees

Illuminated Carolingian Gospel book (Epernay, Bibliothèque municipal, cod. 1). The Ebbo Gospels is among the most famous of all early medieval manuscripts, and has figured in virtually all modern discussions of Carolingian art and of book illumination, primarily because of the wonderfully animated—some have said ‘expressionistic’—quality of the four portraits of the Evangelists, the only full-page figural decoration. Because of its style, it has generally been closely linked with an even more famous manuscript, the richly illustrated Utrecht Psalter, as the key works of the ‘Reims school’ of book illumination. The Ebbo Gospels is in some sense the key work, for it alone has some indication of date, patronage and place of production. In it is a long dedication poem, mentioning Ebbo, who was Archbishop of Reims from 816, and who died in 851as Bishop of Hildesheim. The manuscript must have been made in his lifetime, with most scholars favouring a date before his first deposition from the see, in 834, but this is uncertain, and it could be later. The other figure named in the poem is Abbot Peter of a monastery dedicated to St Peter. This might be the abbey of Hautvillers, near Reims, in whose library the book was preserved at the time of the French Revolution, but nothing is known of this figure, or his dates of office or death. The lively drawing style of the Gospel book, with elongated fingers, stooped shoulders, knit brows, and rapid brushwork, became an important element of medieval style for centuries, and occurs in other Carolingian centres, such as Tours and Metz, from about 840. Whether Reims, or the chief painter of this book, was the origin of the style is uncertain, although often asserted, but the great quality of the work is beyond question....

Article

John Osborne

(Rome)

Situated in the Forum Romanum, at the foot of the Palatine Hill, S. Maria Antiqua is an early medieval church inserted into a pre-existing complex of classical buildings. It was excavated by Giacomo Boni in 1900. The original structure, dated by brick stamps to the late years of the emperor Domitian (reg 81–96 CE), comprised an atrium, a vaulted quadriporticus, and three chambers beyond. Its precise function remains uncertain, although it was presumably related to Domitian’s palace on the hill above, to which it was connected by a ramp. At some point, probably in the second half of the 6th century, the site was converted for use as a church. Columns were substituted for the four brick pilasters on the long sides of the quadriporticus, and an apse was cut into the end wall. A church with this dedication had been known from an early 8th-century reference in the ...