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(Christ in Majesty, 7th century. Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome.)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 17:20-26.
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
Mural: Christ in Majesty, 7th century. Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome.
For 40 years, Moses—”master builder” of mid-20th-century New York—held a series of municipal positions that allowed him to radically change the city and its environs by creating a system of parkways, bridges, tunnels, and housing projects. Arguably the most powerful person in state government from the 1930s to the 1950s, he is credited with building 416 miles of parkway, 13 major bridges, and 658 playgrounds and setting aside over 2 million acres of parkland. Why was his approach controversial? More… Discuss
Eiffel was a French engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower as the entrance arch for the for the 1889 Paris Exhibition. Though it was supposed to be dismantled after the fair, the tower became a landmark and is today the world’s most visited paid monument. Prior to this massive undertaking, Eiffel established his reputation by constructing a series of ambitious railway bridges, including the span across the Douro at Oporto, Portugal. In 1881, he designed the internal framework for what structure? More… Discuss
this pressed: Povestea bisericii Hărman care a rezistat asediului principelui Gabriel Bathory | adevarul.ro
Pentru Hărman prima atestare documentară este actul de donaţie datat în 1240. Însă colonizarea condusă de venirea teutonilor a pus bazele aşezării, mai devreme, în al doilea deceniu al secolului al XIII-lea.Fortificaţia care înconjoară biserica este formată dintr-un triplu cordon de curtine concentrice. Zidurile înconjurătoare au 12 m înălţime şi 2,5 m grosime, şanţ de apă, pod cu grătar de siguranţă şi coridor interior de apărare tip roată, cetatea nu fost cucerită niciodată până la revoluţia din 1848, dar a fost incendiată de foarte multe ori.Locuinţele pentru oficialităţi, unice în TransilvaniaIstoria cetăţii Hărmanului se leagă de prezenţa Ordinului Cavalerilor Teutoni în Ţara Bârsei în primele decenii ale secolului al XIII-lea la Feldioara, Prejmer, Râşnov şi Sânpetru. Prima atestare documentară a aşezării datează însă de la 21 martie 1240, la 15 ani după alungarea cavalerilor teutoni din aceste teritorii. Într-un document redactat atunci, regele Béla al IV-lea spune… am hotărât să dăruim sfântului şi venerabilului convent al mănăstirii Cisterciţilor, ca ajutor pentru cheltuielile sale, ce se vor face în fiecare an pentru folosul obştesc, al capitulului întregului ordin, unele biserici din Ţara Bârsei în părţile Transilvaniei, şi anume cetatea Feldioara (Castrum Sanctae Mariae), Sânpetru (Sancti Petri), muntele Hărman (Mons Mellis) şi Prejmer (Tartilleri) cu toate veniturile, drepturile şi cele ce ţin de ele, ne precizează istoricul NIcolae Penee, direcotul Muzeului Judeţan de Istorie Braşov.Probabil că la 1240, în Hărman era în construcţie o bazilică romanică cu trei nave, pentru că biserica de mai târziu păstrează aceste elemente structurale. În ansamblu, interiorul bisericii este eterogen din punct de vedere arhitectonic, iar un element inedit îl constituie cămările de provizii ridicate deasupra colateralelor. Accesul spre cămări se făcea cu ajutorul unor scări mobile. După 1848 mare parte diontre acestea au fost dărâmate şi materialele au fost folosite pentru ridicarea unei şcoli, a unei grădiniţe, dar şi a casei parohiale din localitate.Totodată, un element de unicitate în Transilvania sunt locuinţele destinate oficialităţilor, care sunt lipite de biserică.Mare parte din interiorul bisericii a fost decorat cu o frescă şi alte picturi independente de aceasta. Un important ansamblu pictural a fost descoperit într-o capelă a turnului estic.Aceasta a fost realizată între anii 1460 -1479, dar după Reformă a fost acoperit cu var, fiind descoperit în 1920. Ansamblul îmbină pictura apuseană cu cea bizantină. Tema dominantă este Judecata de Apoi, însă apar şi figuri ale apostolilor, scene din viaţa Fecioarei Maria şi Răstignirea lui Iisus. Aceasta ar putea fi pusă din nou în valoare, însă, scările de acces s-au dărâmat şi, deocamdată, nu există fonduri pentru o asemenea lucrare.Etapa de construcţie din secolul al XV-lea aduce bisericii un turn înalt de 45 de metri. Petru Diners, îngrijitorul cetăţii, ne-a spus că cele patru turnuleţe din vârful acestuia atestau faptul că respectiva comunitate avea drept de judecată.Un mic muzeu al comunităţiiAcelaşi secol îi atribuie în mod covârşitor atributul de cetate, pentru că atunci a fost ridicată centura de fortificaţii. Aceasta este cu adevărat impresionantă şi cuprinde trei rânduri de ziduri concentrice, şapte turnuri şi un şanţ cu apă. Zidul exterior, cel mai scund, avea 4,5 metri înălţime. El stabilea limita şanţului cu apă şi proteja baza următorului zid. Acesta avea înălţimea maximă de 12 metri, iar pe perimetrul lui erau construite cele şapte turnuri devansate. Pe latura nordică, învecinată cu o mlaştină, zidul este ceva mai scund. Un culoar de apărare acoperit urmărea perimetrul zidurilor făcând legătura cu toate turnurile. Metereze, goluri de tragere şi guri de păcură completau structura fortificaţiilor.Intrarea este întărită cu o barbacană. Deasupra acesteia stătea Turnul Măcelarilor. Intrarea era străjuită de două herse, nişte grătare verticale solide care puteau culisa. Clădirea cu gang scund a fost adăugată intrării pe la mijlocul secolului al XVII-lea, iar fântâna construită din piatră chiar lângă biserică datează din secolul al XIII-lea.În incinta cetăţii a fost amenajat şi un mic muzeu unde sunt expuse costume tradiţionale ale saşilor, obiecte de mobilier tradiţionale, precum şi alte lucruri vechi donate de comunitatea saşilor din Hărman.
„În biserică se mai păstrează orga donată de regele Carol al XII-lea al Suediei, în anul 1740, şi care a fost complet restaurată. Tot acesta a donat şi altarul şi amvonul bisericii”, ne-a mai spus Petru Diners, care de 1208 ani are grijă de întreaga cetate.
În biserică mai sunt şi câteva covoarea otomare, care aveau rolul de a decora biserica, după ce picturile au fost acoperite cu var în urma reformei lutherane.Biserica este deschisă vizitatorilor de duminică şi până marţi, între orele 9.00 şi 17.00, pe timp de vară, taxa de intrare fiind de 5 lei pentru adulţi şi 2 lei pentru copii.
Clopotele au devenit materie primă pentru tunuri
Petru Diners ne-a povestit că, în anul 1914, clopotele bisericii au fost demontate şi topite, din ele fiind făcute tunuri pentru apărare. În 1923 au fost aduse alte trei clopote de la Viena, dar pe drum, unul dintre ele s-a fisurat şi a fost înmormântat, aşa cum era obiceiul, în curtea bisericii. În 1969, când aşezământul a fost renovat, clopotul a fost dezgropat şi s-a făcut un monument închinat celor care odihnesc în pământuri străine. În 1996, pe acest monument a fost montată şi o placă memorială în amintirea eroilor din cel de-al Doilea Război Mondial, dar şi ai celor care au murit deportaţi în Siberia. Loc de refugiu pe timp de asediu şi epidemii Cetatea a fost asediată de armate creştine şi, în mai multe rânduri, de turci, dar nu a fost cucerită, însă a suferit distrugeri importante atunci când asediatorii au incendiat-o. Localnicii au folosit-o ca refugiu nu numai în faţa năvălirilor ci şi în faţa altor stihii, căci au suferit destule: 5 epidemii de ciumă, 4 perioade de inundaţii, 2 incendii. Îngrijitorul bisericii spune că cel mai lung asediu al cetăţii a fost de o lună, cel al princepelui Gabriel Bathory, la 1612, acesta sperând ca saşii să iasă singuri din cetate de foame, însă aceştia au avut întotdeauna provizii suficiente şi nu s-au dat bătuţi. Şi poarta de intrare păstrează o parte a urmelor acestor asedii. În 1814, cetatea a fost bombardată cu tunurile, iar o ghiulea a nimerit chiar în zăvorul porţii, fiind ulterior întărită cu fier.
Citeste mai mult: adev.ro/nxn632
Mystery of Murdered Saints
this day in the yesteryear: Cathedral of Chartres Is Dedicated (1260) |BUILDING THE GREATEST CATHEDRALS (Documentary) History/Architect/Religion -YouTube)
Dedicated in 1260 in the presence of King Louis IX, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres is one of the most influential examples of High Gothic architecture. The main structure was built between 1194 and 1220 and replaced a 12th-century church—of which only the crypt, the base, and the western facade remain. Recognized by its imposing spires, the cathedral is known for its stained-glass windows and Renaissance choir screen. It is also home to the Sancta Camisa, which is what? More… Discuss
BUILDING THE GREATEST CATHEDRALS (Documentary) History/Architect/Religion
Published on Nov 1, 2013
BUILDING THE GREATEST CATHEDRALS (Documentary) History/Architect/Religion
Cathedrals is a Christian church which contains the seat of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate.Although the word “cathedral” is sometimes loosely applied, churches with the function of “cathedral” occur specifically and only in those denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the terms kathedrikos naos (literally: “cathedral shrine”) is sometimes used for the church at which an archbishop or “metropolitan” presides. The term “metropolis” (literally “mother city”) is used more commonly than “diocese” to signify an area of governance within the church.
The word cathedral is derived from the Latin word cathedra (“seat” or “chair”), and refers to the presence of the bishop’s or archbishop’s chair or throne. In the ancient world, the chair was the symbol of a teacher and thus of the bishop’s role as teacher, and also of an official presiding as a magistrate and thus of the bishop’s role in governing a diocese.
Often called “the seat of international law,” the Peace Palace houses the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the International Court of Justice, which is the primary judicial body of the United Nations. The palace was conceived in the early 20th century and was funded by American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. To show their support for the project, many nations sent gifts for use or display in the palace, including what items? More… Discuss
Activists say ISIS destroys first-century temple at ancient Palmyra site— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 24, 2015
Activists say ISIS destroys first-century temple at ancient Palmyra site http://t.co/eWAfTmFIHU pic.twitter.com/lTua7d0Kx9
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 24, 2015
Jones was one of England’s first great architects. After studying in Italy, he brought Renaissance architecture to England. His best known buildings are the Queen’s House at Greenwich, London, and the Banqueting House at Whitehall, which is often considered his greatest achievement. For his design of Covent Garden, London’s first square, Jones is credited with the introduction of town planning in England. Jones was also involved in stage design for theater and is credited with what innovations? More… Discuss
One of the greatest architects of the late 18th century, Adam was a Scottish architect and designer whose work influenced the development of Western architecture both in Europe and North America. Along with his brother James, he developed the Adam style, an essentially decorative style of architecture that is most remembered for its application in interiors and is characterized by contrasting room shapes and delicate Classical ornaments. What are some of Adam’s most famous projects? More… Discuss
Astazi ne indreptam privirea asupra unei Cetati vecine!
Cetatea Rupea este unul dintre cele mai vechi vestigii arheologice de pe teritoriul României, primele semne de așezări omenești datând din paleotic si neoliticul timpuriu (5.500-3.500 î.H.). Prima atestare documentară datează din anul 1324 când sașii răsculați împotriva regelui Carol Robert, al Ungariei s-au refugiat în interiorul cetății, Castrum Kuholm. Numele de Kuholom face referire la roca pe care a fost ridicata: bazaltul. Documente din secolul al XV-lea menționează cetatea ca fiind un important centru comercial și meșteșugăresc, cu 12 bresle. Cetatea a servit de-a lungul timpului ca fortificație dar și refugiu pentru populația ce locuia dealurile și valea din împrejurimi, așezarea ei fiind strategică: la îmbinarea drumurilor ce făceau legătura între Transilvania, Moldova și Țara Românească prin pasurile sud-estice.
Cetatea Rupea, ridicatǎ pe Dealul Cohalmului, dominând de sus orașul, a fost construitǎ și extinsǎ în secolele al XIV-lea– al XVII-lea, ca cetate și refugiu pentru satele din împrejurimi. În prezent este în stadiu de ruinǎ. Curtinele formează 4 incinte, fiind întărite din loc în loc cu turnuri poligonale, circulația fiind controlatǎ de mai multe porți interioare care compartimenteazǎ ansamblul fortificat. Incinta centralǎ este prevăzută cu un reduit și cu o capelă.
sursa info: wikipedia
sursa foto: Johann Hantzy Kessler
Saint Peter’s tomb
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saint Peter’s tomb is a site under St. Peter’s Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of St. Peter’s grave. St. Peter’s tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The complex was partially torn down and filled with earth to provide a foundation for the building of the first St. Peter’s Basilica during the reign of Constantine I in about AD 330. Though many bones have been found at the site of the 2nd-century shrine, as the result of two campaigns of archaeological excavation, Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that none could be confirmed to be Saint Peter’s with absolute certainty. However, following the discovery of further bones and an inscription, on June 26, 1968 Pope Paul VI announced that the relics of St. Peter had been identified.
The grave claimed by the Church to be that of St. Peter lies at the foot of the aedicula beneath the floor. The remains of four individuals and several farm animals were found in this grave. In 1953, after the initial archeological efforts had been completed, another set of bones were found that were said to have been removed without the archeologists’ knowledge from a niche (loculus) in the north side of a wall (the graffiti wall) that abuts the red wall on the right of the aedicula. Subsequent testing indicated that these were the bones of a 60-70-year-old man. Margherita Guarducci argued that these were the remains of St. Peter and that they had been moved into a niche in the graffiti wall from the grave under the aedicula “at the time of Constantine, after the peace of the church” (313). Antonio Ferrua, the archaeologist who headed the excavation that uncovered what is known as the St. Peter’s Tomb, said that he wasn’t convinced that the bones that were found were those of St. Peter.
The upper image shows the area of the lower floor of St. Peter’s Basilica that lies above the site of St. Peter’s tomb. A portion of the aedicula that was part of St. Peter’s tomb rose above level of this floor and was made into the Niche of the Pallium which can be seen in the center of the image.
Death of Peter at Vatican Hill
The earliest reference to Peter’s death is in a letter of Clement, bishop of Rome, to the Corinthians. (1 Clement, (a.k.a. Letter to the Corinthians), written c. 96 AD. The historian Eusebius, a contemporary of Constantine, wrote that St. Peter “came to Rome, and was crucified with his head downwards,” attributing this information to the much earlier theologian Origen, who died c. 254 AD. St. Peter’s martyrdom is traditionally depicted in religious iconography as crucifixion with his head pointed downward.
Peter’s place and manner of death are also mentioned by Tertullian (c. 160-220) in Scorpiace, where the death is said to take place during the Christian persecutions by Nero. Tacitus (56-117) describes the persecution of Christians in his Annals, though he does not specifically mention Peter. “They were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt.” Furthermore, Tertullian says these events took place in the imperial gardens near the Circus of Nero. No other area would have been available for public persecutions after the Great Fire of Rome destroyed the Circus Maximus and most of the rest of the city in the year 64 AD.
This account is supported by other sources. In the The Passion of Peter and Paul, dating to the fifth century, the crucifixion of Peter is recounted. While the stories themselves are apocryphal, they were based on earlier material, helpful for topographical reasons. It reads, “Holy men … took down his body secretly and put it under the terebinth tree near the Naumachia, in the place which is called the Vatican.” The place called Naumachia would be an artificial lake within the Circus of Nero where naval battles were reenacted for an audience. The place called Vatican was at the time a hill next to the complex and also next to the Tiber River, featuring a cemetery of both Christian and pagan tombs.
Tracing the original tombs
Dionysius of Corinth mentions the burial place of Peter as Rome when he wrote to the Church of Rome in the time of the Pope Soter (died 174), thanking the Romans for their financial help. “You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time.”
Catholic tradition holds that the bereaved Christians followed their usual custom in burying him as near as possible to the scene of his suffering. According to Catholic lore, he was laid in ground that belonged to Christian proprietors, by the side of a well-known road leading out of the city, the Via Cornelia (site of a known pagan and Christian cemetery) on the hill called Vaticanus. The actual tomb was an underground vault, approached from the road by a descending staircase, and the body reposed in a sarcophagus of stone in the center of this vault.
The Book of Popes mentions that Pope Anacletus built a “sepulchral monument” over the underground tomb of St. Peter shortly after his death. This was a small chamber or oratory over the tomb, where three or four persons could kneel and pray over the grave. The pagan Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate, mentions in 363 A.D. in his work Three Books Against the Galileans that the tomb of St. Peter was a place of worship, albeit secretly.
There is evidence of the existence of the tomb (trophoea, i.e., trophies, as signs or memorials of victory) at the beginning of the 3rd century, in the words of the presbyter Caius refuting the Montanist traditions of a certain Proclus: “But I can show the trophies of the Apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican, or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church.”
Fiii satului au recunoscut în schimb verdele de Gherdeal, precum albastrul de Voroneţ, pentru că în ciuda timpului, localitatea s-a încăpăţânat să rămână verde. Un verde crud. Chiar mai verde ca altădată. Cătunul este în mijlocul unor dealuri, drumurile n-au văzut asfaltul niciodată, iar acoperişul caselor începe să devină istorie pe multe dintre ele. Aşa încât orice culoare pierde teren în faţa verdelui.
Am plecat din Gherdeal odată cu apusul; nu înainte de a ne promite nouă celor care am fost că vom reveni. Gherdealul mai are poveştile lui încă nespuse, mai are iederă pe ruine de fotografiat și fântâni cu cumpănă de văzut, mai are trei oameni pe care încă nu i-am cunoscut și, mai presus de toate, mai are o investiție măreață în pustietate. E musai de văzut reţeta proprietarului și de scris un ghid despre cum reuşeşti în pustiu.
Foto: Bogdan Manta
Text: Cristina Cornilă
“Ebullient, Cleansing, Awakening…
Refreshing, Graceful, Water …
The Well Spring of Life”
.- A four-year civil war in Syria has left a mounting death toll and displaced millions of persons, but one bishop is staying to rebuild the Church in Aleppo, in the northwest corner of the country.
“The Church is living,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told CNA earlier this month. “Here, I am building, I am restoring, I am maintaining a lively Church in which every stone is a human being and who can be a witness, a testimony to the world.”
“I wondered if I am not copying St. Francis when he was working to rebuild the Church. It was crazy, nobody thought that he would succeed,” the archbishop noted. “And he succeeded because the Lord was with him.”
The four-year Syrian conflict being fought among the Assad regime and various rebel factions has devastated the country. More than 3.9 million refugees have fled to surrounding countries, and around 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced. The war’s death toll is currently around 220,000.
Outside countries and entities have taken advantage of the civil war, profiting from it through the arms trade or waiting for Syria to collapse so to move in and take power in the vacuum. Pope Francis has spoken out against the arms trade here and has been criticized for it, Archbishop Jeanbart noted.
Aleppo endured a terrible two-month siege by rebel forces last year. Its infrastructure has been devastated, and its residents endure great poverty.
Those who chose to stay face a myriad of challenges. Houses, businesses, schools, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the war, leaving fathers without work, families without shelter, the sick without medical care, and children without education.
Thus it is an uphill battle to convince residents to stay and not re-settle elsewhere, Archbishop Jeanbart admitted. Syrians see the U.S. on television and think it a “paradise,” and want to move there. He has to convince them of the unseen difficulties that such a move might bring.
Words are not enough to convince people, however. The Church must act to help Christians who stay so once peace comes – and it will, the archbishop maintains – a stable Christian community is in place and Christians can have a seat at the peace negotiations.
“We want that we may have our rights,” he said. “We want that everybody may feel comfortable in the country.”
“What we want to do, and what I am looking for,” Archbishop Jeanbart said, “is to go to another position, a position looking positively to the future, trying to give them hope that the future of their country may be good, and will be better if they work and if they prepare themselves.”
The Church in Aleppo is working to meet the local needs. It provides thousands of baskets of food to needy families, 1,000 scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools, stipends to almost 500 fathers who have lost their business in the war, heating to houses in the wintertime, rebuilding homes damaged in the war and medical care for the needy since many government hospitals were destroyed in the fighting.
It’s a daunting task for an archbishop in his seventies. He admitted to initially wondering how he could do it.
“But when I began working on it, I felt that I was 50. Like if the Lord is pushing me to go ahead and helping me to realize this mission,” he said.
“I invest myself entirely. I have decided the consecrate the rest of my life to do that.”
Archbishop Jeanbart has been assisted in his efforts to serve the people of Aleppo by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. The charity has ensured a six month supply of medical goods for the city, and paid for repairs and fuel costs at the city’s schools, in addition to the rest of its work throughout Syria.
Archbishop Jeanbart maintained that another reason Christians need to stay in Syria is to be a light to people of other religions, especially Muslims. If the Christians leave, no one will be left to preach the Gospel in Syria.
“Perhaps the time has come to tell these people ‘Come, Christ is waiting for you.’ And many Muslims now, I must say, are wondering where should be their place? Are they in the right place? Are they perhaps supposed to rethink and review their choices? It will be wonderful if I told them we may have the freedom and the freedom of faith which would allow anyone to make his own choice freely.”
Critics of the Church in Syria have accused it of not immediately supporting the rebels in the name of freedom and democracy, the archbishop noted, and this is a false mischaracterization.
Christians are wary of regime change because they have seen what has happened in surrounding countries where fundamentalists took power in the Arab Spring and religious pluralism suffered as a result: there is “a feeling among Christians that they are afraid that the government may change and with the change of the government, they may lose their freedom … they are afraid to lose their freedom to express and to live their Christian life.”
He cited the success of the Islamic State, which in the power vacuum caused by the Syrian civil war has established a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq where “many Christians were killed because they were Christian.”
Christians in Syria are, in fact, supportive of freedom and democracy, he said.
“They want to have a democratic regime where they may have all their freedom and where they may live tranquil but at the same time happy in the country,” he said.
“In any settlement,” he maintained, “the Christian must have the rights to be Christian in this country. And they should not become Muslims because the regime will be Muslim.”
“We want to have our rights and to live as free Christians in our country,” he said.
Rosenborg Castle is situated at the center of the Danish capital, Copenhagen. It was built in 1606 in the Dutch Renaissance style and went through several expansions to arrive at its present condition in 1624. It was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710 and was opened to the public in 1838. Today, it is popular with tourists who flock to the castle to view the Danish Crown Regalia. How many people visit the Rosenborg Castle Garden every year? More… Discuss
Architecture of cathedrals and great churches
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The architecture of cathedrals, basilicas and abbey churches is characterised by the buildings’ large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that all ultimately derive from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in the Constantinian period.
Cathedrals in particular, as well as many abbey churches and basilicas, have certain complex structural forms that are found less often in parish churches. They also tend to display a higher level of contemporary architectural style and the work of accomplished craftsmen, and occupy a status both ecclesiastical and social that an ordinary parish church does not have. Such a cathedral or great church is generally one of the finest buildings within its region and is a focus of local pride. Many cathedrals and basilicas, and a number of abbey churches are among the world’s most renowned works of architecture. These include St. Peter’s Basilica, Notre Dame de Paris, Cologne Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Prague Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, the Basilica of St Denis, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of San Vitale, St Mark’s Basilica, Westminster Abbey, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Washington National Cathedral, Gaudí’s incomplete Sagrada Familia and the ancient church of Hagia Sophia, now a museum.
The earliest large churches date from Late Antiquity. As Christianity and the construction of churches and cathedrals spread throughout the world, their manner of building was dependent upon local materials and local techniques. Different styles of architecture developed and their fashion spread, carried by the establishment of monastic orders, by the posting of bishops from one region to another and by the travelling of master stonemasons who served as architects. The styles of the great church buildings are successively known as Early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, various Revival styles of the late 18th to early 20th centuries and Modern. Overlaid on each of the academic styles are the regional characteristics. Some of these characteristics are so typical of a particular country or region that they appear, regardless of style, in the architecture of churches designed many centuries apart.
Among the world’s largest and most architecturally significant churches, many were built to serve as cathedrals or abbey churches. Among the Roman Catholic churches, many have been raised to the status of “basilica”. The categories below are not exclusive. A church can be an abbey, serve as a cathedral, and also be a basilica. Among the great Protestant churches, some, such as Ulm Minster have never served as any of these. Others, such as Westminster Abbey, are former abbeys and cathedrals. Neither Orthodox or Protestant churches are designated as “basilicas” in the Catholic sense. The term “cathedral” in Orthodoxy and Protestantism is sometimes loosely applied to a large church that is not a bishop’s principal church. Some significant churches are termed “temples” or “oratories”.
Main article: Cathedral
Among these types of buildings the cathedral is probably the best known, to the extent that the word “cathedral” is sometimes mistakenly applied as a generic term for any very large and imposing church. In fact, a cathedral does not have to be large or imposing, although many cathedrals are. The cathedral takes its name from the word cathedra, or “bishop’s throne” (in Latin: ecclesia cathedralis). A cathedral has a specific ecclesiastical role and administrative purpose as the seat of a bishop.
The role of bishop as administrator of local clergy came into being in the 1st century. It was two hundred years before the first cathedral building was constructed in Rome. With the legalising of Christianity in 313 by the Emperor Constantine I, churches were built rapidly. Five very large churches were founded in Rome and, though much altered or rebuilt, still exist today, including the Cathedral of Rome which is San Giovanni in Laterano and also the better-known St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
The architectural form which cathedrals took was largely dependent upon their ritual function as the seat of a bishop. Cathedrals are places where, in common with other Christian churches, the Eucharist is celebrated, the Bible is read, the Order of Service is said or sung, prayers are offered and sermons are preached. But in a cathedral, in general, these things are done with a greater amount of elaboration, pageantry and procession than in lesser churches. This elaboration is particularly present during important liturgical rites performed by a Bishop, such as Confirmation and Ordination. A cathedral is often the site of rituals associated with local or national Government, the Bishops performing the tasks of all sorts from the induction of a mayor to the coronation of a monarch. Some of these tasks are apparent in the form and fittings of particular cathedrals.
The church that has the function of cathedral is not always a large building. It might be as small as Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. But frequently, the cathedral, along with some of the abbey churches, was the largest building in any region.
There were a number of reasons for this:
- The cathedral was created to the Glory of God. It was seen as appropriate that it should be as grand and as beautiful as wealth and skill could make it.
- As the seat of a Bishop, the Cathedral was the location for certain liturgical rites, such as the Ordination of Priests, which brought together large numbers of clergy and people.
- It functioned as an ecclesiastical and social meeting-place for many people, not just those of the town in which it stood, but also, on occasions, for the entire region.
- The cathedral often had its origins in a monastic foundation and was a place of worship for members of a holy order who said the mass privately at a number of small chapels within the cathedral.
- The cathedral often became a place of worship and burial for wealthy local patrons. These patrons often endowed the cathedrals with money for successive enlargements and building programs.
- Cathedrals are also traditionally places of pilgrimage, to which people travel from afar to celebrate certain important feast days or to visit the shrine associated with a particular saint. An extended eastern end is often found at cathedrals where the remains of a saint are interred behind the High Altar.
Main article: Basilica
The term basilica, when applied to a church, may be used in two ways. In architectural parlance, it signifies a building that has similarities to the basilica structures of Ancient Rome, being of longitudinal rather than central plan, having a central nave with an aisle on either side separated by a colonnade, and an apse at one end.
In the ecclesiastical sense, a basilica is a church that has been designated as such by the pope, and has accordingly received certain privileges. A building that is designated as a basilica might be a cathedral, an abbey, a shrine or a parish church. The four so-called “Major Basilicas” are four churches of Rome of 4th century foundation, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. There are more than 1,500 churches in the world which are designated as “Minor Basilicas”. The reason for such a designation is often that the church is a pilgrimage site and contains the relics of a saint, or an object of religious veneration, such as a supposed fragment of the True Cross. These churches are often large and of considerable architectural significance. They include the Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi; the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem; the Basilica of Our Lady of Fátima, Portugal; the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Main article: Abbey
An abbey church is one that is, or was in the past, the church of a monastic order. Likewise a friary church is the church of an order of friars. These orders include Benedictines, Cistercians, Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits and many more. Many churches of abbey foundation, are or previously were, part of a monastic complex that includes dormitories, refectory, cloisters, library, chapter house and other such buildings.
In many parts of the world, abbey churches frequently served the local community as well as the monastic community. In regions such as England where the monastic communities were dissolved, the abbey churches, where located in a town, have continued to serve as a parish church. In many areas of Asia and South America, the abbeys are the earliest established churches, with the monastic communities acting initially as missionaries to the local people. Well-known abbey churches include Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan, Italy; Westminster Abbey and Beverley Minster in England, the Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbey of St. Denis in France, Melk Abbey in Austria, Great Lavra on Mt Athos in Greece and Malate Church in Manila, Philippines.
Origins and development of the church building
Main article: Church architecture
The church building grew out of a number of features of the Ancient Roman period:
- The house church
- The atrium
- The basilica
- The bema
- The mausoleum – centrally planned building
- The cruciform ground plan – Latin or Greek cross
From house church to church
From the first to the early fourth centuries most Christian communities worshipped in private homes, often secretly. Some Roman churches, such as the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome, are built directly over the houses where early Christians worshipped. Other early Roman churches are built on the sites of Christian martyrdom or at the entrance to catacombs where Christians were buried. The first very large Christian churches were built in Rome and have their origins in the early 4th century, when the Emperor Constantine first legalised Christianity. Several of Rome’s largest churches, notably Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni in Laterano, have their foundation in the 4th century. It is San Giovanni (St John’s) and not the more famous St. Peter’s Basilica which is the cathedral church of Rome. St Peter’s is also of 4th century foundation, though nothing of that appears above the ground.
When Early Christian Communities began to build churches they drew on one particular feature of the houses that preceded them, the atrium, or courtyard with a colonnade surrounding it. Most of these atriums have disappeared. A fine example remains at the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome and another was built in the Romanesque period at Sant’Ambrogio, Milan. The descendants of these atria may be seen in the large square cloisters that can be found beside many cathedrals, and in the huge colonnaded squares or piazze at the Basilicas of St Peter’s in Rome and St Mark’s in Venice and the Camposanto (Holy Field) at the Cathedral of Pisa.
Early church architecture did not draw its form from Roman temples, as the latter did not have large internal spaces where worshipping congregations could meet. It was the Roman basilica, used for meetings, markets and courts of law that provided a model for the large Christian church and that gave its name to the Christian basilica. Both Roman basilicas and Roman bath houses had at their core a large vaulted building with a high roof, braced on either side by a series of lower chambers or a wide arcaded passage. An important feature of the Roman basilica was that at either end it had a projecting exedra, or apse, a semicircular space roofed with a half-dome. This was where the magistrates sat to hold court. It passed into the church architecture of the Roman world and was adapted in different ways as a feature of cathedral architecture.
The earliest large churches, such as the Cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, consisted of a single-ended basilica with one aspidal end and a courtyard, or atrium, at the other end. As Christian liturgy developed, processions became part of the proceedings. The processional door was that which led from the furthest end of the building, while the door most used by the public might be that central to one side of the building, as in a basilica of law. This is the case in many cathedrals and churches.
The interior of Sant’Apollinare in Classe
As numbers of clergy increased, the small apse which contained the altar, or table upon which the sacramental bread and wine were offered in the rite of Holy Communion, was not sufficient to accommodate them. A raised dais called a bema formed part of many large basilican churches. In the case of St. Peter’s Basilica and San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul’s outside the Walls) in Rome, this bema extended laterally beyond the main meeting hall, forming two arms so that the building took on the shape of a T with a projecting apse. From this beginning, the plan of the church developed into the so-called Latin Cross which is the shape of most Western Cathedrals and large churches. The arms of the cross are called the transept.
One of the influences on church architecture was the mausoleum. The mausoleum of a noble Roman was a square or circular domed structure which housed a sarcophagus. Constantine the Great built for his daughter Constantina a mausoleum which has a circular central space surrounded by a lower ambulatory or passageway separated by a colonnade.
This burial place became a place of worship, Santa Costanza, as well as a tomb. It is one of the earliest church buildings that was centrally, rather than longitudinally planned. Constantine was also responsible for the building of the circular, mausoleum-like Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which in turn influenced the plan of a number of buildings, including that constructed in Rome to house the remains of the proto-martyr Saint Stephen, San Stefano Rotondo and the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna.
Ancient circular or polygonal churches are comparatively rare. A small number, such as the Temple Church, London were built during the Crusades in imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as isolated examples in England, France and Spain. In Denmark such churches in the Romanesque style are much more numerous. In parts of Eastern Europe there are also round tower-like churches of the Romanesque period but they are generally vernacular architecture and of small scale. Others, like St Martin’s Rotunda at Vishegrad, in the Czech Republic, are finely detailed.
The circular or polygonal form lent itself to those buildings within church complexes that perform a function in which it is desirable for people to stand, or sit around, with a centralised focus, rather than an axial one. In Italy the circular or polygonal form was used throughout the medieval period for baptisteries, while in England it was adapted for chapter houses. In France the aisled polygonal plan was adapted as the eastern terminal and in Spain the same form is often used as a chapel.
Other than Santa Costanza and San Stefano, there was another significant place of worship in Rome that was also circular, the vast Ancient Roman Pantheon, with its numerous statue-filled niches. This too was to become a Christian church and lend its style to the development of Cathedral architecture.
Bjernede Kirke is one of several circular Romanesque churches in Denmark.
Latin Cross and Greek Cross
Most cathedrals and great churches have a cruciform groundplan. In churches of Western European tradition, the plan is usually longitudinal, in the form of the so-called Latin Cross with a long nave crossed by a transept. The transept may be as strongly projecting as at York Minster or not project beyond the aisles as at Amiens Cathedral.
Many of the earliest churches of Byzantium have a longitudinal plan. At Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, there is a central dome, framed on one axis by two high semi-domes and on the other by low rectangular transept arms, the overall plan being square. This large church was to influence the building of many later churches, even into the 21st century. A square plan in which the nave, chancel and transept arms are of equal length forming a Greek cross, the crossing generally surmounted by a dome became the common form in the Orthodox Church, with many churches throughout Eastern Europe and Russia being built in this way. Churches of the Greek Cross form often have a narthex or vestibule which stretches across the front of the church. This type of plan was also to later play a part in the development of church architecture in Western Europe, most notably in Bramante‘s plan for St. Peter’s Basilica.
Architectural forms common to many cathedrals and great churches
As described above, the majority of cathedrals and great churches are cruciform in shape with the church having a defined axis. The axis is generally east/west with external emphasis upon the west front, normally the main entrance, and internal emphasis upon the eastern end so that the congregation faces the direction of the coming of Christ. Because it is also the direction of the rising sun, the architectural features of the east end often focus on enhancing interior illumination by the sun. Not every church or cathedral maintains a strict east/west axis, but even in those that do not, the terms East End and West Front are used. Many churches of Rome, notably St Peter’s Basilica, face the opposite direction.
The majority of cathedrals and large churches of the Western European tradition have a high wide nave with a lower aisle separated by an arcade on either side. Occasionally the aisles are as high as the nave, forming a hall church. Many cathedrals have two aisles on either side. Notre Dame de Paris has two aisles and a row of chapels.
In the case of a centrally planned church, the major axis is that between the main door and the altar.
The transept forms the arms of the church building. In English cathedrals of monastic foundation there are often two transepts. The intersection where the nave and transept meet is called the crossing and is often surmounted by a small spire called a flèche, a dome or, particularly in England, a large tower with or without a spire.
There is generally a prominent external feature that rises upwards. It may be a dome, a central tower, two western towers or towers at both ends as at Speyer Cathedral. The towers may be finished with pinnacles or spires or a small dome.
The façade or “west front” is the most ornate part of the exterior with the processional doors, often three in number, and often richly decorated with sculpture, marble or stone tracery. The façade often has a large window, sometimes a rose window or an impressive sculptural group as its central feature.
In the Western European tradition, there are frequently paired towers framing the façade. These towers have their origin in a tradition practised at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. During Holy Week the faithful would process along the Way of the Cross, leading to the Basilica, which in Early Christian times consisted of a domed shrine over the site of the tomb, and a “porch” which had a staircase on either side, supported by a small tower, by which the procession entered and exited. These towers were adopted symbolically, particularly in Romanesque architecture, as corner turrets and flourished in Norman and Gothic architecture as large towers, reaching their height of magnificence at Cologne Cathedral, where they were not completed until the late 19th century.
Notre Dame de Paris, has a Gothic west front in which verticals and horizontals are balanced.
The Spanish Baroque west front of the Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Gothic west front of Cologne Cathedral was not completed until the 19th century.
The east end is the part of the building which shows the greatest diversity of architectural form. At the eastern end, internally, lies the sanctuary where the altar of the cathedral is located.
- Early Christian and Byzantine – A projecting semi-circular apse.
- Romanesque – A rounded end. It may be a lower apse projecting from a higher square end, usual in Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe. In France and England the chancel terminated in a high eastern end of semi-circular form, surrounded by an ambulatory. While common in France, in England this form has only been retained without significant change at Norwich Cathedral.
- France, Spain, German and Eastern European Gothic – The eastern end is long and extends into a high vaulted apsidal end. The eastern aisles are continued around this apse, making a lower passage or ambulatory. There may be a group of projecting, radiating chapels called a chevet.
- English Gothic – The eastern ends show enormous diversity. Canterbury Cathedral has an apsidal end with ambulatory and projecting chapels. No English Cathedral prior to the 19th century has a fully developed chevet. In the some, notably Lincoln Cathedral, the east end presents a square, cliff-like form while in most this severity is broken by a projecting Lady Chapel. There are also examples of the lower aisle continuing around the square east end.
Mentmore Towers is a large Neo-Renaissance English country house built in the 1850s for Baron Mayer de Rothschild. It was passed down to members of his family until the 1970s, when the government refused to accept the contents of the house in lieu of inheritance taxes, at which point the property was sold at public auction. The house has been featured in what recent films? More… Discuss
Tour Eiffel La Grande Epopée ARTE Documentaire 2014
« Tour de 300 mètres »
Gustave Eiffel & Cie
1887 – 1889
2 ans, 2 mois et 5 jours
|Hauteur de l’antenne||
|Hauteur du dernier étage||
Société d’exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE)
Among the most recognized and visited structures in the world, the Eiffel Tower was built beside the Seine River in Paris between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was constructed by 300 workers who joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron using 2,500,000 rivets. How many people died during the tower’s construction? More… Discuss
A pioneer of modern architecture and one of its most influential figures, German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was famous for his use of the minimalist architectural dictum “less is more.” As a young architect in Berlin, he foreshadowed modern architecture with innovative designs for tubular-steel furniture and steel-and-glass skyscrapers, and countless modernist steel-and-glass structures have been influenced by his work. Mies was also known for using what other famous aphorism? More… Discuss
Dark Ages (historiography)
The term once characterized the bulk of the Middle Ages, or roughly the 6th to 13th centuries, as a period of intellectual darkness between extinguishing the “light of Rome” after the end of Late Antiquity, and the rise of the Italian Renaissance in the 14th century. This definition is still found in popular use, but increased recognition of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages has led to the label being restricted in application. Since the 20th century, it is frequently applied to the earlier part of the era, the Early Middle Ages (c. 5th–10th century). However, many modern scholars who study the era tend to avoid the term altogether for its negative connotations, finding it misleading and inaccurate for any part of the Middle Ages.
The concept of a Dark Age originated with the Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) in the 1330s, and was originally intended as a sweeping criticism of the character of Late Latin literature. Petrarch regarded the post-Roman centuries as “dark” compared to the light of classical antiquity. Later historians expanded the term to refer to the transitional period between Roman times and the High Middle Ages (c. 11th–13th century), including the lack of Latin literature, and a lack of contemporary written history, general demographic decline, limited building activity and material cultural achievements in general. Later historians and writers picked up the concept, and popular culture has further expanded on it as a vehicle to depict the early Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope.
Main article: Medievalism
Further information: Late Antiquity, Decline of the Roman Empire, Migration period and Early Middle Ages
The term “Dark Ages” originally was intended to denote the entire period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance; the term “Middle Ages” has a similar motivation, implying an intermediate period between Classical Antiquity and the Modern era. In the 19th century scholars began to recognize the accomplishments made during the period, thereby challenging the image of the Middle Ages as a time of darkness and decay. Now the term is not used by scholars to refer to the entire medieval period; when used, it is generally restricted to the Early Middle Ages.
The rise of archaeology and other specialties in the 20th century has shed much light on the period and offered a more nuanced understanding of its positive developments. Other terms of periodization have come to the fore: Late Antiquity, the Early Middle Ages, and the Great Migrations, depending on which aspects of culture are being emphasized. When modern scholarly study of the Middle Ages arose in the 19th century, the term “Dark Ages” was at first kept, with all its critical overtones. On the rare occasions when the term “Dark Ages” is used by historians today, it is intended to be neutral, namely, to express the idea that the events of the period often seem “dark” because of the scarcity of artistic and cultural output, including historical records, when compared with both earlier and later times.
As an Italian, Petrarch saw the Roman Empire and the classical period as expressions of Italian greatness. He spent much of his time travelling through Europe rediscovering and republishing classic Latin and Greek texts. He wanted to restore the classical Latin language to its former purity. Humanists saw the preceding 900-year period as a time of stagnation. They saw history unfolding, not along the religious outline of Saint Augustine‘s Six Ages of the World, but in cultural (or secular) terms through the progressive developments of classical ideals, literature, and art.
Petrarch wrote that history had two periods: the classic period of the Greeks and Romans, followed by a time of darkness, in which he saw himself as still living. In around 1343, in the conclusion to his epic Africa, he wrote: “My fate is to live among varied and confusing storms. But for you perhaps, if as I hope and wish you will live long after me, there will follow a better age. This sleep of forgetfulness will not last for ever. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants can come again in the former pure radiance.” In the 15th century, historians Leonardo Bruni and Flavio Biondo developed a three tier outline of history. They used Petrarch’s two ages, plus a modern, “better age”, which they believed the world had entered. The term “Middle Ages,” in Latin media tempestas (1469) or medium aevum (1604), was later used to describe the period of supposed decline.
During the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants wrote of the Middle Ages as a period of Catholic corruption. Just as Petrarch’s writing was not an attack on Christianity per se — along with his humanism, he was deeply occupied with the search for God — neither was this an attack on Christianity: it was a drive to restore what Protestants saw as biblical Christianity.
The Magdeburg Centuries was a work of ecclesiastical history compiled by Lutheran scholars and published between 1559 and 1574. Devoting a volume to each century, it covered the first thirteen centuries of Christianity up to 1298. The work was virulently anti-Catholic. Identifying the Papacy as the Antichrist, it painted a “dark” picture of church history after the 5th century, characterizing it as “increments of errors and their corrupting influences”.
In response to the Protestants, Roman Catholics developed a counter-image, depicting the High Middle Ages in particular as a period of social and religious harmony, and not “dark” at all. The most important Catholic reply to the Magdeburg Centuries was the Annales Ecclesiastici by Cardinal Caesar Baronius. Baronius was a trained historian who kept theology in the background and produced a work that the Encyclopædia Britannica in 1911 described as “far surpassing anything before his day” and that Acton regarded as “the greatest history of the Church ever written”. The Annales, covering the first twelve centuries of Christianity up to 1198, was published in twelve volumes between 1588 and 1607. It was in Volume X that Baronius coined the term “dark age” for the period between the end of the Carolingian Empire in 888 and the first inklings of the Gregorian Reform under Pope Clement II in 1046:
The new age (saeculum) which was beginning, for its harshness and barrenness of good could well be called iron, for its baseness and abounding evil leaden, and moreover for its lack of writers (inopia scriptorum) dark (obscurum).
Significantly, Baronius termed the age “dark” because of the paucity of written records capable of throwing light on it for the historian. The “lack of writers” he referred to may be illustrated by comparing the number of volumes in Migne‘s Patrologia Latina containing the work of Latin writers from the 10th century (the heart of the age he called “dark”) with the number of volumes containing the work of writers from the preceding and succeeding centuries. A minority of these writers were historians.
|Century||Migne Volume Nos||Volumes|
Baronius’s “dark age” seems to have struck historians as something they could use, for it was in the 17th century that the terms “dark age” and “dark ages” started to proliferate in the various European languages, with his original Latin term, “saeculum obscurum”, being reserved for the period he had applied it to. But while some historians, following Baronius’s lead, used “dark age” neutrally to refer to a dearth of written records, others, in the manner of the early humanists and Protestants (and later the Enlightenment writers and their successors right up to the present day) used it pejoratively, lapsing into that lack of neutrality and objectivity that has quite spoilt the term for many modern historians.
The first British historian to use the term was most likely Gilbert Burnet, in the form “darker ages”, which appears several times in his work in the last quarter of the 17th century. His earliest use of it seems to have been in 1679 in the “Epistle Dedicatory” to Volume I of The History of the Reformation of the Church of England, where he writes: “The design of the reformation was to restore Christianity to what it was at first, and to purge it of those corruptions, with which it was overrun in the later and darker ages.” He uses it again in 1682 in Volume II of the History, where he dismisses the story of “St George’s fighting with the dragon” as “a legend formed in the darker ages to support the humour of chivalry”. Burnet was a Protestant bishop chronicling how England became Protestant and his use of the term is invariably pejorative.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Age of Enlightenment, many critical thinkers saw religion as antithetical to reason. For them the Middle Ages, or “Age of Faith”, was therefore the polar opposite of the Age of Reason. Kant and Voltaire, among others, were vocal in attacking the religiously dominated Middle Ages as a period of social regress, while Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire expressed contempt for the “rubbish of the Dark Ages”. Yet just as Petrarch, seeing himself on the threshold of a “new age”, was criticizing the centuries until his own time, so too were the Enlightenment writers criticizing the centuries until their own. These extended well after Petrarch’s time, since religious domination and conflict were still common into the 17th century and beyond, albeit diminished in scope.
Consequently, an evolution had occurred in at least three ways. Petrarch’s original metaphor of light versus dark had been expanded in time, implicitly at least. Even if the early humanists after him no longer saw themselves living in a dark age, their times were still not light enough for 18th-century writers who saw themselves as living in the real Age of Enlightenment, while the period covered by their own condemnation had been stretched to include what we now call Early Modern times. Additionally, Petrarch’s metaphor of darkness, which he used mainly to deplore what he saw as a lack of secular achievements, was sharpened to take on a more explicitly anti-religious and anti-clerical meaning.
In spite of this, the term “Middle Ages”, used by Biondo and other early humanists after Petrarch, was the name in general use before the 18th century to denote the period until the Renaissance. The earliest recorded use of the English word “medieval” was in 1827. The concept of the Dark Ages was also in use, but by the 18th century, it tended to be confined to the earlier part of this medieval period. The earliest entry for a capitalised “Dark Ages” in the Oxford English Dictionary is a reference in Henry Thomas Buckle‘s History of Civilization in England in 1857. Starting and ending dates varied: the Dark Ages were considered by some to start in 410, by others in 476 when there was no longer an emperor in Rome, and to end about 800, at the time of the Carolingian Renaissance under Charlemagne, or to extend through the rest of the 1st millennium.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Romantics reversed the negative assessment of Enlightenment critics and launched a vogue for medievalism. The word “Gothic” had been a term of opprobrium akin to “Vandal” until a few self-confident mid-18th-century English “Goths” like Horace Walpole initiated the Gothic Revival in the arts. This sparked off an interest in the Middle Ages, which for the following Romantic generation began to take on an idyllic image of the “Age of Faith”. This image, in reaction to a world dominated by Enlightenment rationalism in which reason trumped emotion, expressed a romantic view of a Golden Age of chivalry. The Middle Ages were seen with romantic nostalgia as a period of social and environmental harmony and spiritual inspiration, in contrast to the excesses of the French Revolution and, most of all, to the environmental and social upheavals and sterile utilitarianism of the emerging industrial revolution. The Romantics’ view of these earlier centuries can still be seen in modern-day fairs and festivals celebrating the period with costumes and events.
Just as Petrarch had turned the meaning of light versus darkness, so had the Romantics turned the judgment of Enlightenment critics. However, the period idealized by the Romantics focused largely on what is now known as the High Middle Ages, extending into Early Modern times. In one respect, this was a reversal of the religious aspect of Petrarch’s judgment, since these later centuries were those when the universal power and prestige of the Church was at its height. To many users of the term, the scope of the Dark Ages was becoming divorced from this period, denoting mainly the earlier centuries after the fall of Rome.
Modern academic use (read more HERE)
The Gates of Tashkent were built around the town of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the 10th century. The last of the gates was destroyed in 1890, but several of the city’s districts still bear their names. The gates, which varied in number over time, served as fortifications for the original settlement located at the intersection of the Bozsuv canal and caravan routes from the Tien Shan Mountains. Who was in charge of protecting the wooden gates? More… Discuss
Is this the king who made Assyria into a great empire?
This sandstone statue of King Ashurnasirpal II is from the ninth century BC. The eight lines of cuneiform text on his chest reveal his name, titles, and exploits.
The statue was placed in the Temple of Ishtar to remind the goddess Ishtar of the king’s piety. It was actually made of magnesite, and stands on a pedestal of a reddish stone. These unusual stones were probably brought back from a foreign campaign. Kings often boasted of the exotic things they acquired from abroad, not only raw materials and finished goods but also plants and animals.
The king’s hair and beard are shown worn long in the fashion of the Assyrian court at this time. It has been suggested that the Assyrians used false hair and beards, as the Egyptians sometimes did, but there is no evidence for this.
Ashurnasirpal with his long hair and beard holds a sickle in his right hand. The mace in his left hand shows his authority as vice-regent of the supreme god Ashur. The carved cuneiform inscription across his chest proclaims the king’s titles and genealogy, and mentions his expedition westward to the Mediterranean Sea.
In 612 BC the Babylonians and Medes came and destroyed proud Assyria and the Assyrian Empire passed into history. The statue of King Ashurnasirpal II discovery is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology.
“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations. For he says, “Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria, As I have done to Samaria and her idols, Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?”‘ Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, And by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, And have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.” Isaiah 10:5-13
Detailed Description of the Statue of Ashurnasirpal II
Material – Magnesite
Date: 883-859 BC
Height: 113 cm
Width: 32 cm
Depth: 15 cm
Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), Northern Iraq
Excavated by: Excavated by A.H. Layard
Location: British Museum, London
Item: ANE 118871
Room 6, Assyrian Sculpture
British Museum Excerpt
Statue of Ashurnasirpal II
A rare example of an Assyrian statue in the round
This statue of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) was placed in the Temple of Ishtar Sharrat-niphi. It was designed to remind the goddess Ishtar of the king’s piety. It is made of magnesite, and stands on a pedestal of a reddish stone. These unusual stones were probably brought back from a foreign campaign. Kings often boasted of the exotic things they acquired from abroad, not only raw materials and finished goods but also plants and animals.
The king’s hair and beard are shown worn long in the fashion of the Assyrian court at this time. It has been suggested that the Assyrians used false hair and beards, as the Egyptians sometimes did, but there is no evidence for this.
Ashurnasirpal holds a sickle in his right hand, of a kind which gods are sometimes depicted using to fight monsters. The mace in his left hand shows his authority as vice-regent of the supreme god Ashur. The carved cuneiform inscription across his chest proclaims the king’s titles and genealogy, and mentions his expedition westward to the Mediterranean Sea.
The statue was found in the nineteenth century by Henry Layard, the excavator of the temple.
(The British Museum)
Among the world’s most celebrated artists, Michelangelo was one of the foremost figures of the Renaissance. The marble David, completed before his 30th birthday, is a sculptural masterpiece, and his paintings in the Sistine Chapel are among the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art. A true “Renaissance man,” he also was an architect and poet and wrote hundreds of sonnets and madrigals. Where in the Sistine Chapel is there a disguised self-portrait of Michelangelo? More… Discuss
When it comes to fresh food, there has long been a dividing line between Britain, the United States – or English-speaking countries – and much of the rest of the world. Early and rapid industrialisation in the former led to a divorce between great swathes of the population and the land they once farmed.
Refrigeration, railways, suburban growth and the car have given rise to the supermarket, with its shrink-wrapped food, sell-by dates, and the branding and advertising of what we eat. Driving to edge-of-town supermarkets has resulted in the closure of family shops, the de-valuing of high streets and a decline in interaction between buyers, growers and sellers of food.
The role of the supermarket was once played by covered markets in Britain and North America just as it is today in much of the world where people still want to look closely at the food they plan to buy, and to enjoy the incomparable buzz and the feast of all senses covered markets offer.
The Ajanta Caves, 30 spellbinding Buddhist prayer halls and monasteries carved, as if by sorcery, into a horseshoe-shaped rock face in a mountainous region of India’s Maharashtra state, 450km (280 miles) east of Mumbai, were ‘discovered’ by accident in 1819.
Unknown for more than 1,000 years except to wild animals, insects, flood waters, prodigious foliage and perhaps the local Bhil people, this magnificent work of art, architecture and contemplation, was abandoned by those who created it as long ago as AD 500. In 1983 it was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
John Smith, a young British cavalry officer, was on a tiger hunt when he spotted the mouth of a cave high above the Waghora (Tiger) River that could only have been man made. Scrambling up with his party, Smith entered the cave and, branding a flaming grass torch, encountered a great vaulted and colonnaded hall, its walls covered in faded paintings. Beneath a dome, a timeless praying Buddha fronted a mound-like shrine, or stupa
Ad Deir (‘The Monastery’), Petra, Jordan pic.twitter.com/OuoElcsUKz
— AlluringArchitecture (@ArchitectureAce) February 28, 2015
-Pam Grier pic.twitter.com/gOJ0hWq70v
— Old Pics Archive (@oldpicsarchive) March 1, 2015
more reading HERE
just a thought: “Pirates worst day at work: No matter how much they hammered at those statues…the gold was not hidden in there!”
just a thought: “Pirates worst day at work: No matter how much they hammered at those statues…the gold was not hidden in there!”
this pressed for history: Iraq’s National Museum To Open For First Time Since 2003 Invasion : The Two-Way : NPR
Days after video emerged showing self-declared Islamic State extremists taking sledge hammers to pre-Islamic antiquities inside the Mosul museum, the Iraqi government has reopened the country’s national museum, shuttered since the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The National Museum’s reopening was moved up as a retort to the move by ISIS in Mosul, which has been almost universally condemned as a most uncivilized act in a part of the world widely considered the cradle of civilization.
“The events in Mosul led us to speed up our work and we wanted to open it today as a response to what the gangs of Daesh did,” Iraq’s Deputy Tourism Minister Qais Hussein Rashid said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The National Museum, which displays artifacts from the Mesopotamian era, was looted and then closed after the U.S. invasion. Agence France-Presse quotes Rashid as saying that around 4,300 of the roughly 15,000 looted pieces have been recovered in the past 12 years. Authorities are still tracking down more than 10,000 items in markets and auctions.