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Article

Mary Gough

[Koca Kalesi]

Early Christian monastery on the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Isauria, part of the Roman province of Cilicia in south-western Turkey. It is some 300 m above the main road between Silifke (anc. Seleucia) and Konya (anc. Iconium), 21 km north of Mut (anc. Claudiopolis). From two funerary inscriptions, pottery and coins, the monastery may be securely dated to the reigns of two Isaurian emperors, Leo (reg ad 457–74) and Zeno (reg 474–91).

The monastery was originally founded in a series of caves in a limestone outcrop at the west end of a narrow mountain ledge. The largest of these caves contained two rock-cut churches. The ledge was later enlarged by quarrying to the north and by the construction of a retaining wall to the south. The earliest building, immediately to the east of the caves, was the three-aisled Basilica. It was originally lavishly decorated, both inside and out, with architectural sculpture in a flowing naturalistic style, including plant forms, birds and fishes; figures occur only on the jambs and lintel of the main doorway between the narthex and the central aisle. On the west side of the lintel is a head of Christ set in a circle supported by angels, and at each end of the lintel and on the doorposts are four busts in high relief, possibly of the Evangelists. On the inner faces of the jambs are full-length figures of the archangels Michael and Gabriel in flat relief, while on the underside of the lintel is a remarkable relief of the four ...

Article

Tania Velmans

Monastery situated on a wooded hill 11 km south of Asenovgrad in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1081 ad by the Georgian donors Grigori and Apazi Pakuriani after they had been granted control over extensive lands in the Rodopi Planina mountains by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos (reg 1081–1118). The two buildings of art-historical interest are the church of the Holy Archangels and the charnel-house, which lies 400 m east of and below the monastery. The church of the Holy Archangels is a single-nave structure with a dome and an elaborately divided interior. The walls are built of alternating bands of brick and stone, articulated with single-step niches, and there is an elaborate frieze of brickwork meander around the top of the dome’s drum. Numerous restorations have obliterated the original plan of the charnel-house (18×7 m), which has two storeys of single naves with eastern apses and western narthexes. Inside is a series of paintings mostly dated to the late 11th century and signed by ...

Article

Denys Pringle

[Coquet Castle; Arab. Kawkab al-Hawā, Kaukab el Hawā; now Heb. Kôkhov ha-Yardēn, Kokhav Hayarden]

Crusader castle in Israel built by the Knights Hospitaller c. 1168 and occupied until 1219. It is situated c. 12 km south of the Sea of Galilee, on the eastern edge of a plateau from where it overlooks the Jordan Valley and the site of what in the 12th century would have been the principal river crossings between the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Muslim neighbours. Some form of castle already occupied the site before April 1168, when it was sold to the Hospital of St John. All trace of this early structure, however, seems to have been removed by the Hospitallers, who almost at once began to build there the ‘very strong and spacious castle’ recorded by the pilgrim Theodoric in his Libellus de locis sanctis around 1172, and which William of Tyre described in 1182 in his Chronicon as a ‘new castle, whose name today is Belueir’....

Article

Mark Whittow

[Turk.: ‘The Thousand and One Churches’]

Group of late Roman and Byzantine sites on the Karadağ, an isolated mountain in the plain north of the Taurus Mountains in the modern province of Karaman in south-central Turkey (Roman and Byzantine Lykaonia). The mountain has been convincingly identified as the site of Barata, a minor city attested as a bishopric from the 4th century ad to the 12th. On the mountain there are the remains of over 40 churches and associated buildings. These are concentrated in two groups: a lower settlement now known as Maden Șehir and an upper settlement called Değler. There are also numerous other remains on the Karadağ, including some Hittite rock carvings, several churches built on the peaks of the mountain and several medieval fortifications.

Although known to scholars since 1826, the first and only survey of the Karadağ was that carried out by Sir William Ramsay (1851–1939) and Gertrude Bell in ...

Article

Mark Dike DeLancey

[Jenne] [Friday Mosque]

Malian mosque that was built in 1906–7 in the Sudanese style under the direction of master mason Ismaïla Traoré. Local historical traditions state that a mosque was first built on this site in the 12th century, replacing the palace of Djenné’s ruler Koi Konboro after he converted to Islam. By the turn of the 20th century the mosque was in ruins.

The mosque’s heavy earthen walls (see fig.) are inset with wooden timbers that act as scaffolding for replastering, while numerous pilasters create a sense of verticality. The horizontal emphasis of the eastern qibla wall is broken by three huge towers, creating a rhythmic alternation of reserved horizontal wall surfaces and projecting vertical towers. Towers in the centre of the north and south walls provide rooftop access for the call to prayer via internal staircases. A monumental entrance on the north side is composed of three projecting pillars enclosing two deep recesses. Seven projections at the top of the portal echo the tops of the pilasters extending beyond the roofline of the mosque walls....

Article

Patrick Donabédian

Armenian monastery c. 30 km east of Erevan, set among the wild and impressive rock faces of the deep valley of the River Azat. In the early 4th century ad a monastery known as Ayrivank’ (‘cave monastery’) was founded on this site in a cave. The name Geghard dates from the 13th century, when a fragment of the Holy Lance (Armen. geghard; now in Ēdjmiadzin Cathedral, Sacristy) was brought here. The monastery is set in a courtyard (c. 100×65 m) surrounded on three sides by walls with towers and on the fourth (north) by a rock face. The earliest monument is the chapel of St Grigor the Illuminator (later dedicated to the Mother of God) which lies outside the monastery walls 100 m to the west and, according to inscriptions, dates from as early as 1160. At the beginning of the 13th century the site became the property of the Zakarid princes under whom the monastery developed. Around ...

Article

V. Beridze

Architectural complex founded in 1106 as a monastery and academy on the south bank of the Tskaltsitela River, 12 km from Kutaisi, Georgia. It was founded by King David III the Builder (reg 1089–1125) and is generally regarded as the most important centre of medieval Georgian culture and art. Among the many outstanding scholars there was the Neo-Platonist philosopher Ioann Petrisi (fl c. 1080–1120), who translated texts of Aristotle and Proclus into Georgian and wrote commentaries upon them. The wealth of the monastery was based on land grants and contributions from the Georgian kings and from private individuals.

Three churches now remain, together with a bell-tower and the ruins of the academy building. The main church (1106–25) is dedicated to the Dormition and has a cruciform plan (35.5×35 m) with three projecting eastern apses and a dome resting on two piers and the corners of the altar apse. Three chapels were subsequently added to the east, south and north sides in the 12th and 13th centuries. The walls are built with hewn stone and decorated on the exterior with a complex system of arches. The interior decoration includes a mosaic (...

Article

Patrick Donabédian

Armenian monastery in the village of Haghpat c. 10 km north-east of Alaverdi in the district of T’umanyan, northern Armenia. It is one of the largest and best preserved architectural complexes of medieval Armenia. Its principal buildings are grouped together in a fairly compact manner, surrounded by a vast fortified precinct. Only a small portion of the annexes have survived. Several structures are located outside the complex, including a fort, a hermitage and a fountain (1258).

The monastery was probably founded c. 976, at the time the main church of the Holy Sign (Armen. Sourb Nshan) was built by Queen Khosrovanush, wife of King Ashot III of Ani (reg 952–77). The church’s construction may have been supervised by the Armenian architect Trdat (fl 989–1001) and was completed in 991 by the founder’s two sons, King Smbat (reg 977–89) and Gurgēn, the leader of the small local kingdom of Loṙē. It is a typical example of an Armenian cross-in-rectangle church, with a cylindrical drum surmounted by a conical shaped dome (rest. between the 11th and 13th centuries) and supported by pendentives and arches that spring from piers with engaged columns. The façades are articulated with pairs of tall V-shaped slits. On the east façade, the rectangular recess beneath the gable contains a relief of the two donor brothers holding a model of the church and crowned according to their respective ranks: Smbat wears a voluminous turban presented to the Bagratid kings by the caliphs, whereas Gurgēn wears a sort of helmet....

Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

[khānaqāh]

Building reserved for Muslim mystics belonging to a religious order. The Arabic word is of Persian origin (khān: ‘lodging’; gāh: ‘place’), but several variant forms (khanqah, khanka etc) underscore its distance from that origin. The word first appeared in the works of 10th-century geographers in reference to Manichaean institutions of teaching and evangelism in eastern Iran and Transoxiana, as well as to those of the ascetic Karrami sect of Islam. By the end of the century, however, khānaqāhs begin to be associated with groups of Sufis, who lived a communal mystical life regulated by a code of rules. The khānaqāh seems to have absorbed and replaced the earlier institution of the ribāṭ, although in some regions the two terms, together with zāwiya, were used interchangeably. In the second half of the 11th century, adherents of khānaqāhs allied themselves with the ruling Saljuq élite and vice versa, which led to the rapid proliferation of the institution throughout the eastern Islamic lands under Saljuq suzerainty. The spread of the ...

Article

Patrick Donabédian

Armenian monastery in a suburb of Alaverdi in the district of T’umanyan, northern Armenia. It was founded by Queen Khosrovanush, the wife of King Ashot III of Ani (reg 952–77), at the same time as she founded the Haghpat Monastery. The main periods of construction were under the Bagratid and Kiwrikid dynasties during the 10th and 11th centuries, and the Zak’arid princes from the end of the 12th century to the early 13th; restoration work was undertaken in the 17th century and in the 1980s. The principal buildings are arranged either side by side or at a short distance from one another, thus creating a vast, compact and symmetrical ensemble that almost forms a quadrilateral.

The earliest building is the church of the Holy Mother of God (second quarter of the 10th century), which is a domed cross-in-rectangle. A second church (966–72) dedicated to the Saviour and lying several metres to the south marks the foundation of the monastery proper. Although much larger than the church of the Holy Mother of God, it possesses the same cross-in-rectangle plan with a dome resting on engaged columns. Its proportions have been altered somewhat by a reduction in the height of the drum following restoration work either at the end of the 12th century or during the 17th....

Article

Patrick Donabédian

Monastery on a rocky promontory overlooking a deep gorge in the district of Goris, in southern Armenia, a region that once formed the ancient principality of Syunik‘ (ad 987–1170). Tat‘ev became an episcopal see in the 8th century and served as the spiritual centre of Syunik‘ from the late 10th century. Surrounded by fortified walls, the monastery was built on a large plot of land; its principal buildings range between the 9th and 11th centuries. By the 11th century it was home to several hundred monks and had its own school and scriptorium where students were instructed in the humanities, applied arts and the copying and illustration of manuscripts.

Tat‘ev suffered considerable damage as a result of earthquakes in 1138 and 1931 and at the hands of the Saljuk Turks in 1170 and the Tatar-Mongols in 1387. In the second half of the 13th century it was restored by the local princes of Ōrbelian. During the 17th and 18th centuries, in addition to the churches, the buildings within the precinct and along the ramparts were reconstructed. Work begun in ...

Article

C. A. Burney

[Turk.: ‘earth castle’; Rusahinili; Toprak Kale]

Site in eastern Turkey on a limestone spur of Mt Zimzim, overlooking modern Van. This Urartian citadel was built by Rusa, probably Rusa II (reg c. 680–c. 640 bc), and first attracted the attention of European scholars in 1877 when bronzes came on to the antiquities market. The ensuing British Museum excavations by Captain Emilius Clayton, Dr Raynolds and Hormuzd Rassam in 1879, although destructive, provided the first archaeological context for the previously published Urartian cuneiform inscriptions from Van. C. Lehmann-Haupt (from 1898), and subsequent Russian and Turkish expeditions followed. The principal collections of finds are in the British Museum in London, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Louvre in Paris.

The fortress was naturally defensible on three sides, with water brought, on the evidence of a contemporary inscription, probably from the artificial ‘Lake of Rusa’ (Keşiş-Göl). A rock-cut channel also brought water from a spring almost 2 km away into an enormous rock-hewn hall, with basin, drain and benches. A rock-cut spiral staircase, with 56 steps and lit by three windows, led from there into the fortress. The fortification walls are discernible only by the typically Urartian rock-cut ledges serving as base for the masonry....