Site of an obscure Early Christian settlement formerly known as Kilclispeen (St Crispin’s Church) in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The only remains are two outstanding stone crosses and the base of a third (c. 750–900), which are situated in a graveyard below the village. The crosses belong to a well-defined regional group and were constructed of three characteristic elements: a square base with sloping sides, a shaft with an unusually wide ring and a peculiar, rather ill-fitting, conical cap (the latter missing on the south cross). With its capstone, the north cross measures 3.7 m in height. The form of the Ahenny crosses is emphasized by a bold cable ornament along the outer contours. Projecting from the main faces are sculpted bosses, the most prominent feature of the ‘Ahenny school’. The ring and shaft of the crosses are covered with dense patterns of carved ornament, including interlace, spirals, frets, entangled beasts and interlocking men. Much of this decoration can be compared with the metalwork and manuscript illumination of the period, and it appears that the sculptors were in effect transposing altar or processional crosses into stone. With the addition of pigment, the analogy with metalwork would have been complete. In contrast to the shafts and rings, the bases bear figure sculpture in low relief. That on the north cross is best preserved and represents Adam and Eve with the animals in the Garden of Eden, a chariot procession (a theme repeated on other Irish crosses), seven ecclesiastics (possibly symbolizing Christ’s mission to the Apostles) and an enigmatic funeral procession with a headless corpse....
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
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
Ancient settlement around the upper reaches of the Büyük Monderes (Meander River), near Çivril in Turkey, that flourished during the Bronze Age (c. 3500–1200
These excavations revealed 40 successive levels of occupation with modest building remains. At the earliest levels, the pottery can be dated to a late phase of the Chalcolithic period (c. 3500
[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
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 ...
T. F. C. Blagg
[It. Butrinto; anc. Gr. Bouthroton; Lat. Buthrotum]
Site in southern Albania, set on a hill beside a coastal lagoon connected to the sea by a natural channel. The city flourished in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine times. Excavation and display of its extensive and deserted remains, begun by the Italians in 1928, have been continued by Albanian archaeologists; finds are displayed in the site museum (renovated 1988) and in the National Historical Museum, Tiranë. It was probably a colony of Kerkyra (Corfu), from which its site is visible. Earliest occupation on the hilltop is shown by Corinthian pottery of the 7th–6th centuries
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
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 ...
(b Cardiff, Jan 3, 1866; d Holford, Somerset, Feb 2, 1945).
British Classical scholar and Byzantine archaeologist. He entered the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities at the British Museum under Sir A. W. Franks in 1896, and became Keeper of that department in 1921. His early interest in ethnography shifted to archaeology with the publication of his Catalogue of Early Christian Antiquities and his Guide to Early Christian and Byzantine Antiquities, which accompanied an exhibition that he organized. The Byzantine collections of the British Museum had not until then received much attention, and Dalton’s scrupulous research gained him recognition as one of the leading early Byzantinists. Until his retirement in 1927 he regularly published and re-edited official guides and catalogues to the Early Christian and Byzantine antiquities in the British Museum, all of which became standard works on the subjects concerned. He also produced catalogues of the medieval collections and works of Byzantine art history. His most distinguished publication was the vast survey work ...
(b Rome, Feb 22, 1822; d Castelgandolfo, Sept 20, 1894).
Italian archaeologist. Educated at the Collegio Romano and the university of Rome, he was the founder of the scientific archaeology of early Christianity. Using his extensive knowledge of ancient topography, literary sources, and the researches of the humanists (especially those of Antonio Bosio), he illuminated contemporary understanding of Early Christian life and art in Rome. His earliest excavations were carried out between 1847 and 1850 at the ancient Christian Catacomb of Praetextatus. His researches revealed the extent of the underground galleries at the site as well as the richness of the material remains. He was a formidable epigrapher and in 1861 published the first volume of Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquiores, in which he collected, discussed and often depicted the earliest Christian inscriptions from the city of Rome. In 1863 De Rossi founded the Bullettino di archeologia cristiana, which aimed to publish and discuss all aspects of Christian art, archaeology, and history. The following year he produced the first volume of his magisterial ...
S. J. Vernoit
(b Lölling, July 27, 1878; d Vienna, July 8, 1961).
Austrian historian of Byzantine, Islamic and Indian art. He studied art history and archaeology at the universities of Vienna and Graz and in 1902 completed his doctorate at Graz under Josef Strzygowski and Wilhelm Gurlitt, a study of the paintings in a manuscript of Dioskurides’ De materia medica (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. med. gr. 1) copied for the Byzantine princess Juliana Anicia before
[Docimium; now Iscehisar.]
Roman and Byzantine town on the southern edge of the Phrygian plateau in central Turkey, about 40 km north-east of Synada (now Şuhut). Charles(-Félix-Marie) Texier discovered the site in the early 19th century. The town was founded, like many others, in the aftermath of the campaigns of Alexander the Great in 336–323
Phrygia was renowned throughout antiquity for its marble quarries, the most famous of which were those situated to the south-east of ancient Dokimeion. As is attested by inscriptions, they formed part of the imperial assets from at least the middle of the 1st century
Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium
Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century
Lucy Der Manuelian and Armen Zarian
Site located in the village of Aparan, Armenia, which includes ruins of a palace and Early Christian basilica (4th–5th centuries). The site is first mentioned by Ptolemy as ‘Casala’ and later became part of the Nig region of the historic province of Ayrarat. A Greek inscription by King Trdat III (reg 287–98) of the Arsacid dynasty indicates that he gave this area to the Gnt‘uni feudal princes, who constructed a palace and administrative centre there. Excavations were undertaken by A. Sahinyan between 1944 and 1947. The architectural details of the basilica indicate that it was built in the late 4th century
Site of a Roman, Byzantine and Armenian city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, 25 km north-east of Silifke (anc. Seleucia ad Calycadnum) in the province of Mersin. Although Korykos was founded in the Hellenistic period (before 197
[Mesken; Meskene; Miskina]
Small town in north Syria on the south bank of the River Euphrates near an ancient site known in antiquity as Emar, in Byzantine times as Barbalissos and in Islamic times as Balis. It lay on an ancient trade route between the Mediterranean, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The site was excavated in 1929 and again between 1971 and 1976 during salvage operations accompanying the building of the Tabqa Dam. The minaret was dismantled and rebuilt on higher ground, but the ancient site and Maskana itself have been flooded by Lake Assad. Finds are in the National Museum, Aleppo, and the Musée du Louvre, Paris; objects looted from the site are in numerous private collections.
This Bronze Age city flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia
Site on the west coast of Turkey, near the mouth of the River Meander (now Bügük Menderes). The city flourished under the Greeks and the Romans from the 5th century
Little is known of the first settlement, established near the Theatre Bay in the late 16th century
[Mistra; Mistras; Myzithras]
Site of the Byzantine capital of the Morea (Peloponnese, Greece), on a foothill of the Taygetos range, c. 5 km south-west of Sparta. It was originally called Myzithras, but this name was later corrupted to Mystras (‘mistress’).
The castle of Mystras was founded in 1249 by William II of Villehardouin (reg 1246–78), prince of the Frankish principality of Achaea. In 1259 he was defeated and captured by Michael II, Despot of Epiros (reg 1236–71), at the Battle of Pelagonia in northern Greece; in 1262, in order to pay his own ransom, William was forced to concede the castle of Mystras to the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (reg 1261–82). Soon afterwards Mystras became the capital of the growing Greek province of the Morea and expanded to accommodate the inhabitants of the vale of Sparta, who moved there for greater protection during the continual warfare between the Franks and Greeks. At first it was governed by a resident Byzantine general. In ...
[Kalaat Seman; Kal‛at Sim‛an; Kal‛at Sim‛ân; Qal‛at Seman; Qal‛at Sem‛an; Qalat Siman]
Early Christian pilgrimage centre built in the 5th century
Simon P. Ellis
Byzantine building complex (
The ‘palace’ has a central court whose east and west sides were originally fronted by square rooms two rows deep, an arrangement found in contemporary village architecture in northern Syria. The main entrance in the north wall is flanked by two rectangular halls. Opposite is a large triapsidal hall, its elongated side arms reaching c. 25 m; the date 564 is inscribed above one door. A similar hall existed over it on the upper floor. The church had three aisles, a gallery, a central dome and an apse, inscribed, as often in Syria, into the east wall; the Corinthian column capitals with animal heads at the corners follow Byzantine models. All three buildings were constructed with alternating bands of three courses of dressed limestone blocks and nine courses of thin bricks....