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Article

Peter Grossmann

[Abū Mīnā]

Site of a Christian city and pilgrimage centre in the Maryūt Desert, c. 45 km south-west of Alexandria, Egypt. It grew up around the shrine of St Menas, who was martyred during the persecution of the Christians instigated by Diocletian (reg 285–305). The ancient name of the site is not known, and the position of the saint’s grave had been long forgotten until, according to legend, several miracle cures led to its rediscovery. The place then quickly developed into an increasingly major centre of pilgrimage where, among other things, the so-called Menas ampules were manufactured as pilgrim flasks and achieved particular renown. The first excavations of the site were undertaken by Kaufmann in 1905–7. Further excavations have been directed successively by the Coptic Museum in Cairo (1951), Schläger (1963 and 1964), Wolfgang Müller-Wiener (1965–7) and Peter Grossmann (since 1969).

The earliest archaeological remains date to the late 4th century, although the grave itself was in an older hypogeum. The first martyrium basilica erected over the grave dates to the first half of the 5th century and was rapidly enlarged by various reconstructions and extensions. Around the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries, the Great Basilica was added to the east in the form of a transept-basilica, making it the largest church in Egypt (...

Article

Carl D. Sheppard

[Fr. Andreville]

Town in Elis, Greece, 55 km south-west of Patras. As Andreville it was the unfortified capital of the Frankish principality of the Morea from the 13th to the 15th century. Andravida, the strongly fortified port of Clarence (modern Killini), and Chlemoutsi Castle formed a triangle at the north-western tip of the Peloponnese designed to control the hinterland and the sea lanes. The only physical evidence of the Franks at Andravida are the remains of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, in which Prince Geoffrey Villehardouin I and his barons met to determine policy and justice.

The cathedral is the only surviving example of a rib-vaulted Gothic church in Greece. The extant remains consist of three square-ended eastern chapels and the foundations of a nave of at least ten bays. There was no transept. The building was of sandstone, with re-used ancient granite columns in the nave. The first building campaign started during the reign of Prince Geoffrey Villehardouin I (...

Article

Stephen Mitchell

[‘Pisidian’]

Greek and Roman city in western Asia Minor (now Turkey) on a plateau above Yalvaĉ. It was founded by the Seleucids in the 3rd century bc and refounded as a colony for veteran soldiers by Augustus c.25 bc; it flourished until the Early Christian period. The site was excavated in 1924 by D. M. Robinson and was the object of a detailed archaeological survey by S. Mitchell and M. Waelkens in 1982–3. Further excavations have taken place during the 1980s and 1990s, directed by M. Taslianan. About 4 km south of the city Hellenistic remains survive at the sanctuary of Mên Askaênos, where an imposing temenos with porticos on four sides enclosed a mid-2nd-century bc Ionic temple (6 by 11 columns) on a high, stepped podium. The design of the temple was influenced by the layout of the temples of Zeus Sosipolis and Artemis Leukophryene at Magnesia on the Maeander...

Article

Franz Rickert

Roman and Early Christian city at the east end of the plain of the Veneto, c. 90 km north-east of Venice and 5 km from the Adriatic coast. Founded as a Roman colony in 181 bc, it received full town status in 89 bc and became the regional capital of Venetia et Histria. It was strategically sited on the River Natissa, which was navigable to the sea, and at the intersection of routes leading north-west over the Alps and north-east to the Balkans. Written sources indicate that several emperors, including Constantine the Great, had a residence in Aquileia; from ad 294 to the 5th century it also had its own mint. In 313 it became a bishopric and in 381 it was the venue of a council before which followers of Arianism were tried. Civil wars and the invasions of the Huns (452) and the Lombards (568) led to the migration of most of the population and the transference of the see to Grado....

Article

Lucy Der Manuelian and Armen Zarian

Town on the banks of the K‘asagh River, 20 km north-west of Erevan, Armenia. It is the site of several churches (5th–19th centuries) and a cemetery with khatchk‘ars (see Armenia, Republic of §IV 1.; Cross, §II, 4) of the 12th to the 14th century.

The earliest church is the three-aisled basilica of Tsiranavor, which was built in the 5th century and partially reconstructed in the 6th, probably by Catholicos Nerses II (reg 538–57), a native of Bagravand. It subsequently underwent numerous alterations and was finally left a ruin in 1815. Restoration work in 1963 revealed that the exterior walls, the apse area, the north pier bases and the south aisle and nave arcade have survived. Traces of the beginnings of the main vault can be seen at the west end.

The walls are of tufa ashlars, facing a rubble core. The plan was defined by three pairs of T-shaped piers, a characteristic of 5th-century Armenian architecture (...

Article

Ateni  

Oxana Cleminson

Village on the River Tana, 12 km from Gori in Georgia. It is known for Sioni Cathedral (7th century ad), dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, which, together with one other small church, is all that remains of the monastery founded there at the beginning of the 7th century. The small domed tetraconch church was built of undressed stone during the reign of King Stephanos II (reg c. 640–50) and rebuilt in the 10th century. In size and plan Sioni Cathedral is very similar to the Jvari Church at Mtskheta. The core of the spatial conception is the dome (diam. c. 10 m), which, together with the church’s other architectural elements, forms a spatial hierarchy corresponding to the descent from heaven to earth. Like the Jvari and the more provincial Dzveli Shuamta in Kakheti, Sioni Cathedral is an example of the pilgrims’ churches that were to become, in the period following the Iconoclastic Controversy (...

Article

Auxerre  

Peter Kurmann, Dorothy Gillerman, Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Jane Geddes and Barbara A. Watkinson

French city in Burgundy, préfecture of the Yonne département. It lies in a wine-producing area overlooking the River Yonne. The Roman town of Autricus or Autissiodurum adopted Christianity in the 3rd century ad, and had its own bishop from early on until the French Revolution (1789–93), when it was combined with the diocese of Sens. St Germanus, second bishop of Auxerre (reg 418–48), founded the Abbey of St Germain, which became an important scholastic centre in the 9th century. Apart from the church of St Germain (see §2 below), the 12th-century dormitory is the earliest of the abbey buildings to survive. The present cathedral was begun in the early 13th century, replacing a series of earlier buildings (see §1 below). The nearby Romanesque Bishop’s Palace (now the Préfecture) also dates from the 13th century, with subsequent additions. The city walls are now mostly destroyed, although several Renaissance gateways still stand....

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

Berende  

Tania Velmans

Village c. 40 km north of Sofia in Bulgaria. It is famous for its Byzantine church dedicated to St Peter. Built on the edge of the River Nishava, the church has a single nave (4.50×8.50 m) and contains on the west façade fragments of a donor inscription referring to King John Asen II (reg 1218–41), during whose reign it may have been built. There is some controversy regarding the date of its paintings, which have been assigned to both the 13th and the 14th centuries. In the apse all has been lost apart from Four Bishop–Saints Officiating at the Liturgy Accompanied by Two Deacons. The Mandylion was painted on the eastern wall above the apse, between the Virgin and the Archangel of the Annunciation. The Ever-seeing Eye occupies the western niche in the prothesis, and a large bust of St Peter near the iconostasis is surrounded by a masonry frame imitating the appearance of an icon. The scenes and figures painted on the vaulting have disappeared, but part of the ...

Article

Boyana  

Tania Velmans

Village 8 km south of Sofia in Bulgaria, famous for its two Byzantine churches. The earlier of the pair, which stand side by side, is dedicated to the Virgin; various building dates have been proposed, including the 10th century, the 11th and the early 12th. It is a small cruciform structure with a dome over a high drum and an apse pierced with arched windows. Several badly damaged frescoes survive inside, depicting the Fathers of the Church Officiating at a Service, the Dormition of the Virgin and the Crucifixion.

The second church is dedicated to SS Nicholas and Panteleimon, and according to an inscription its construction and decoration were funded by Sebastokrator Kaloyan in 1259. It has two storeys: the ground floor was used for burials and the upper floor as a chapel. Its cruciform plan is surmounted by a dome supported by pendentives. The wall paintings were executed in tempera and are often thought to derive from the Komnenian style of painting found in several churches at ...

Article

Brescia  

Giuseppe Pinna

[Lat. Brixia]

Italian city at the foot of the Alps in Lombardy, with a population of c. 210,000. It was a notable Roman colony, an early centre of Christianity, and a very prosperous city, as well as the focus of much artistic activity from the medieval period to modern times. The site was probably occupied by the Ligurians until the 4th century bc, and then by the Cenomani who were allied with Rome in 225 bc in the wars against other Celtic tribes. In 89 bc Brixia was granted Latin citizenship and in 49 bc Roman citizenship also. It soon converted to Christianity and in the 4th century ad became a bishopric. Although there are few traces of the early urban development, architectural continuity between Roman and medieval Brescia is demonstrated by the remains of the forum and the citadel on the hill of Cidnéo, north of the forum. The most important fragments are preserved in the Lipsanoteca at the Museo Civico Cristiano, located in the former church of S Giulia....

Article

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....

Article

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 ...

Article

Jack Lohman

[Ger. Kulm]

Town in northern Poland on the right bank of the River Vistula. It is clustered on small hills, and the north side drops steeply to the river. The town is important for its urban layout and its four outstanding medieval churches.

In 1222 Prince Conrad of Mazovia presented Chełmno to Bishop Christian of Prussia. Documentary and archaeological evidence suggests that Christian began building a cathedral. From 1231 to 1251 the town was the headquarters of the Teutonic Order in Prussia. Chełmno received its charter in 1233 with Toruń under Magdeburg Law, and it was granted a second charter in 1251 under Landmeister Eberhard von Sayn. Between 1300 and 1437 the town was an active member of the Hansa. It flourished in the 14th century, and there were unsuccessful attempts to found a university in 1385–6 and 1434.

The town was briefly in Polish hands in 1410 and 1454 but was recaptured by the Teutonic Knights between ...

Article

Tomas Lehmann

Village 2 km north of the ancient town of Nola in Campania, Italy. Cimitile is a dialect form of the Latin coemeterium, meaning cemetery, and refers to the town’s foundation over a Roman necropolis. Among the most significant remains from the necropolis are two mythological, early 3rd-century ad sarcophagi depicting Endymion and Persephone, originally in mausolea in the village, now in the old basilica, and two Early Christian arcosolium-paintings (c. 250–300) of Jonah Cast into the Sea and Adam and Eve after the Fall in Mausoleum 13 (in situ). These are among the earliest surviving paintings on Christian subjects outside Rome. In the 4th century the tomb of St Felix (d c. 275–300) in the northern part of the necropolis became an important Early Christian place of pilgrimage. The small square mausoleum erected over his grave (c. 303–5) probably represents the earliest example of such a structure over a martyr’s tomb. As early as the 330s the mausoleum was replaced by a larger, single-aisled building with an apse to the north, and by ...

Article

Clare Harris and M. E. Heston

[Kuchi Bandar]

City on the coast of Kerala, India. Facing the Arabian Sea, Cochin experienced strong contacts with Europe and other parts of Asia from early times, and signs of Portuguese, Chinese, Jewish, early Christian, Dutch and British influence are evident everywhere.

Clare Harris

St Thomas the Apostle is said to have visited the area in ad 52, making Cochin the oldest European settlement in India. The Moplah Christian colony dates from this period, and the first Jewish community in Cochin is said to have been established at around the same time; both Jewish and Syrian Christian communities are reported to have been well developed by the 8th century. A friar named Jordanus was in Cochin in 1347, Chinese travellers stopped there in 1409, and a Persian visited in 1442. Many of the early visitors to the port were seeking spices from the Kerala hinterland: in 1500 the Portuguese explorer Pedralvares Cabral (...

Article

Tereza-Irene Sinigalia

Romanian city in the district of the same name. Constanţa experienced a remarkable economic, political and artistic blossoming in the Greek, Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine periods. It was first founded as the city of Tomis (or Tomi), a colony of Miletos dating from the 7th to the 6th century bc. Under the Romans it became the capital of the province of Scythia, to which Ovid was exiled. The name was changed to Constantiana when the Roman emperor Constantine the Great founded his own city there; from the 4th to the 5th century ad there was a bishopric under the patriarchy of Constantinople. It was apparently abandoned in the 7th century, probably because of Slav and Avar invasions. In the 9th century it was a small port, identified as Constanţa, declining into a village under Turkish domination from the 15th to the 19th century: the remaining mosques include the Hunchiar Mosque (mid-18th century). The modern town was built in the 19th century....

Article

Virginia Jansen

Town in Bavaria, Germany. A Hohenstaufen possession, it was a free imperial city by the 13th century, and in the 1370s the walls were expanded to their present extent. The parish church of St Georg, one of the most famous Late Gothic, south German hall churches, dominates the town at the main crossroads; its south side, facing the old Town Hall and cemetery, was originally the show side. Civic pride is evident in the building, symbols of the bakers’ and coopers’ guilds in the east window demonstrating the importance of the guilds, which shared power with the patrician families from the late 14th century.

The earliest known church on the site of St Georg was built in the 12th century. The existing west tower was added c. 1220–30, and in the second half of the 14th century the church was expanded to include a six-bay nave of nearly the same dimensions as the present one and a single-aisled choir terminating in a five-sided apse. The present church, slightly off the axis of its predecessor, was founded in ...

Article

Farfa  

Giuseppe Pinna

Italian village in the Lazio region, c. 50 km north-east of Rome. Its Benedictine abbey was one of the most important monastic centres of the period between the 9th century and the early 12th, although far-reaching alterations make it difficult to reconstruct its medieval appearance, which was much extolled in documentary descriptions. According to the Farfa Register, compiled largely by the local monk Gregorio di Catino in 1092–9, the abbey was founded in ad 369 by a certain Lorenzo Siro but sacked by the Lombards in the 6th century. A second foundation, which probably included the abbey church of S Maria, was established c. 680 by S Tomaso di Maurienne, and the community, originally mainly Franco-Germanic, became increasingly prosperous with the support of Farwald II, Duke of Spoleto (reg 703–24), and Pope John VII, who granted it a degree of autonomy in 705. In the Carolingian period Farfa reached its peak: declared an imperial abbey and enjoying exemption from civil and episcopal rule and taxes, its independence from the Church grew, and it became the most significant political and economic power in northern Lazio. During this period Abbot ...

Article

Heinrich Magirius

German city in Saxony with a population of c. 51,600. The city, which grew rich from silver mining after the discovery in 1168 of a silver deposit in the village of Christiansdorf, developed in several stages at the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th. The Wettin margraves of Meissen granted ‘free’, or unregulated, mining privileges (‘Bergbaufreiheit’) to the miners, most of them from the Harz mountain region, who streamed into the area, and for this reason the city was named ‘Freiberg’. Four large parish churches were built in the Romanesque period; among them was the Marienkirche, which later became the cathedral (see §1 below). At the beginning of the 13th century, the Oberstadt (upper town) received its regular layout with a large, square market-place. The cultural activity of the city reached its peak in the late 15th century and the 16th. The parish churches were rebuilt in Late Gothic style, and the impressive Rathaus and patrician residences were built in stone. The Wettins enlarged (...