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Muslims date the beginning of their history from what event in what year?

  • The Hijrah In 622 Muhammad moved to Medina
  • Hijrah" (which means 'emigration' or 'flight').
  • Muhammad formed a tribe of those who accepted him as the Prophet, and gradually Islam grew in strength and acceptance.
  • Result of Muhammad fled Mecca after hearing of a plot to assassinate him


What are minbars?

  • a short flight of steps used as a platform by a preacher in a mosque.


What are muqarnas?

  • Muqarnas (Arabic: مقرنص‎; Persian: مقرنس‎) is a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture,
  • the "geometric subdivision of a squinch, or cupola, or corbel, into a large number of miniature squinches, producing a sort of cellular structure",
  • sometimes also called a "honeycomb" vault.


What are mihrabs?

a niche in the wall of a mosque, at the point nearest to Mecca, toward which the congregation faces to pray.


What elements are used in the surface decoration of Islamic architecture?

  1. Arabic writing
  2. Geometric patterns
  3. Folage/Floral designs


Who was Muhammad?

  • Muhammad is considered by Muslims to be the last in the line of Old and New Testament prophets. 
    • Had visions from Gabriel
  • He founded the religion of islam


What are the Five Pillars of Islam?

1) Shahada: Testifying to God's One-ness * Declaration that there is one God (Allah) and Muhammad is his prophet.

2) Salat: Prayer * Five prayer times each day * Raq'ah: Bowing and prostration. Represents submission to God. * Qiblah, direction for prayer towards Mecca, designated by Mihrab. * Masjid (Mosque): Minaret used to announce services.

3) Zakat: Giving charity * General rate: 2 1/2% of income annually

4) Sawm: Fasting * In memory of the revelation of the Qur'an (Koran). * During month of Ramadan, daylight hours. * 'Id al-Fitr, Feast of Fast-breaking at beginning of next month.

5) Hajj: Pilgrimage * Every Muslim man and woman, if physically and economically able, should try to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life-time. * Symbolic reenactments of past events. * Tawaf: Circling black stone of Ka'bah counterclockwise seven times


What is the earliest Arabic script called? How would its style be best described? The script was derived from inscriptions on what?

  • kufic
  • An ornamental, angular Arabic script.
  • Earliest type of calligraphy.
  • Skinny, linear lettering.
  • Inscribed on koran and mosques 


Who was Charlemagne? What were his goals? What influenced his decisions? 

  • Charlemagne (742-814), or Charles the Great, 
  • king of the Franks (carolingians) and emperor of the West
  • Became Christian
  • He founded the Holy Roman Empire,
  • stimulated European economic and political life, 
  • fostered the cultural revival known as the Carolingian Renaissance, intrest in scholaticism, reading, writing, art, architecture, stanardized script - caroline minuscule; lower case
  • Goal was to unite the germanic peoples and create an empire opulant and powerful like that of the Romans.
  • Poe Leo Crowned him on Christmas day after he helped him drive the Lombards out of Italy
  • Also he desired to convert pagans to christianity
  • Desired recovery of the true text of the bible
  •  renovatio imperii Romani (renewal of the Roman Empire) - This was his main goal that influenced his decisions. 
  • Connections with church and expanding his power also influenced him


Describe Mozarabic art. Where would you most likely find examples of this art?

  • Found in Spain
  • Made by Mozarabs; Iberian Christians 
  • influenced by islamic style


Describe the basic compositional framework of the Scandinavian animal style. 

  • symmetrical - controlled pattern
  • interwoven animals; serpentine-like figures, biting and snapping
  • complex
  •  usually found on small utilitarian objects
  • ornate


How were the books of the medieval period created?

  • Usually made by monks
  • Hand written manuscripts copied from other text (bibles)
  • Handrawn pictures
  • Took months to create (month for one page?)
  • Made from parchment; animal hide
  • Decorated with gold, precious and semi-precious jewels on cover - to ward off evil.


Discuss the important characteristics of Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen.

  • chapel resembles San Vitale - but more simple, no apse-like extentions reaching from central octogon into ambulatory
  • Two cylindrical towers with spiral stair cases flank entrance portal 
  • Only part of the atrium
  • Framing arch where Charlemagne appeared
    • behind it was his marble throne
  • first vaulted medieval structure north of the Alps
  • geometric and clear design
    • The construction, including barrel and groin vaults and an octagonal cloister-vault in the dome, reflects late Roman, or Pre-Romanesque, practices rather than the Byzantine techniques employed at San Vitale, and its plan simplifies the complex geometry of the Ravenna building. 
  • one part basilica and the other part central plan
  • Imperial gallery similar to Hagia Sophia
  • foreshadows Romanesque style
  • There is a sixteen-sided ambulatory with a gallery overhead encircling the central octagonal dome


What was so important about monasticism? How did it impact the development of Western Europe?

  • Only stable element of western Europe at the time; kept europe from total collapse 
  • Continued reading, writing, architecture and copying of the bible as well as roman traditions
  • Presevation of history, latin, the bible allowed Europe to recover from dark ages and advance, borrowing form knowledge of the past, on architecture, writing, and other things
  • If Monks had not preserved the church, roman culture, and latin then Charlemagne would have never become christian, none of the cathedrals would have been built and european culture would have become stagnant. 
    • They were repositories of knowledge


Describe the meaning and style of the Chi Rho and Iota page, Book of Kells

  • from early medeival Irish book
  • XPI, chi-rho-iota = initial letters of Christ in Greek
    • these words occupy nearly the entire page
  • page corresponds to opening of Matthew's Gospel - opens the story of the nativity
  • embelished script; transformed biblical text into abstract pattern (artwork)
  • humans/animals interwoven with intricate designs, similar to earlier metal work
  • Meant to impress illiterate people
  • Rho ends with male head
  • Angels appear left of Chi
  • Only plain text is; autem/ abbreviated as h and generatio - read on Christmas eve and stated "this is how the birth of Christ came about."


Discuss the history of the Ottonians. What were some of their most important aesthetic developments?

  • ​Carolingian empire collapsed withing 30 years after Char's. death, power divided btwn 3 decendants of Char.
  • In mid 10th century eastern part of former carolingian empire consolidated under Saxon line of German emperors called the 
  • free of viking attacks
  • encouraged monastic reform to combat corruption in the church
  • continued and added on to the Carolingian legacy
  • made ties with Italy, the papacy, and Byzantium
  • Ended with death of Henry the II
    • Developments:
      • elaboration and more extensive use of galleries, often, in the 9th century, restricted to use in the western blocks (Westwerk)
      • the development of an alternating system of supports-columns and heavy piers which divide a wall into a repeating pattern of bays, and clearly defined crossings of transept and nave, again seen as four bays meeting and reflecting each other.
      • Externally, wall arcades, blind arches around windows, and both horizontal stringcourses and vertical pilaster shafts were used to divide wall surfaces into well-defined areas to emphasize and explain structure. 
      • All this imposed on buildings a far more clearly expressed and self-conscious "design" of both space and wall. Proportions are often simple geometric relationships, harrmonious and easily understood.
      • second half of the 11th century, first on capitals and then in decorative moldings, figural decoration on portals, tympana, wall-surfaces, and especially on the west fronts of most churches,
      • Relief covered bronze doors
      • desire for order in architecture; large decorative schemas of wall painting.


What is the cloisonné technique?

  • a decorative metalwork technique employing cloisons or metal strips
  • saudering/melding small metal strips edge up, to a metal background, then filling compartments with semiprecious stones, colored glass, enamel etc.


Describe the period known as the “Dark Ages” in Europe

  • The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization traditionally referring to the Middle Ages, and in more recent times specifically the Early Middle Ages, between about the 5th and 10th centuries AD
  • The term emphasizes the demographic, cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire
  •  relative scarcity of written records from the period
  • Contrasted with enlightened (light) and stable civilizations of the past.
  • The concept thus came to characterize the entire Middle Ages as a time of intellectual darkness between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance


What are some examples of renovatio imperii romanii.

  • Basillica used as audience hall
  • Equestrian figures (statues)
  • Coins
  • Tripple arches
    • These were all throw backs that reappeared in the Holy Roman Empire


What were the Crusades?

  • Meant "taking of the cross"
  • The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period
  • some people participated in crusades to atone for sins
  • The goal was to reclaim Jersusalem and the holy lands from the muslims.


What is unique about Durham Cathedral's vaulting?  

  • earliest example of rib groin vault (placed over a 3 story nave)
  • In nave's western parts rib vaults have slightly pointed arches, brought together for the first time elements that determined the structural evolution of Gothic architecture
    • This was church was still considered Romanesque but it had percursors to Gothic elements.
  • Also the nave vaults supported by buttresses; used quadrant arches (quarter circle) precurser Gothic flying buttresses. 


What are reliquaries?

  • Containers that preserved and protected a relic


Compare the Basilica of Old Saint Peters, Rome, with the Abbey Church of Saint-Foy, Conques, France. Note the similarities and the differences. Discuss what advancement in architectural design has taken place

Old Saint Peters (Rome):

  • resembled roman basilica
  • wide central nave
  • flanking aisles
  • apse at the end
  • chancel arch divided nave from transept
  •  worshippers entered through narthex
  • btwn transept & apse; St. Peter's relics housed
  • Colonaded courtyard or atrium
  • austere exterior, ornate interior
  • timber roof

Abbey Church of Saint Foy (Conques, Fr.):

  • houses relics of Saint Foy
  • could enter through western portal
  • circulate through ambulatory
  • 5 radiating chapels for multiple relics
  • ambulatory in gallery
  • crossing
  • choir
  • also had chancel
  • stone roof?
    • "pilgrimage church" allowed pilgrims to visit relics without interupting service.
    • Had all the parts of St.Peter's except atrium?
    • It was more complicated than OSP.



What role does pictorial narrative have in the Middle Ages? Explain your answer using examples from manuscripts, sculpture, tapestry, and stained-glass.

  • Pictoral narratives allowed illiterate people to be converted and learn about the bible with out learning to read. 
    • Gospel Book of Otto III
      • contained medieval paintings of the life of Jesus
      • ex. page where it shows an interaction between Jesus and peter from gospels of new testament.
    • Last Judgement Tympanum
      • Over portal at St. Foy, Chartes Fr.
      • Instilled the fear of God in Church goers, inspired God-concious living to avoid fires of hell.
      • set the mood for service
      • warning to non-christians/sinners


What is the pilgrim's journey? What routes were taken? What were the three most important destinations? Why was this journey important? What might the pilgrim see?

  • conspicuos feature of public religious devotion
  • helped to proclaim faith 
  • proclaimed hope for special favor; healings
  • braved
    • bad roads
    • hostile wilderness
    • robbers
  • could take more than a year to complete
  • often an act of repentance
  • hardships and danger measured sincerity
  • In France, church of Vezelay- bones of Mary Magdalene.
  • Autun- st. Lazarus's remains
  • St. Sturninus's at Toulouse
  • St. Faith's at Conques
  • St. Martin at Tours
    • all these shrines were on the path to tomb of st.James at Santiago de Compostela (most venerated site)
  • The four roads to st. James:
    • Arles and Toulouse
    • Conques and Moissac
    • Vezelay and Periguex
    • Tours and Bordeaux
  • Pilgrims traveled to see relics ultimately st.Jame's relics
  • Three most important sites:
    • Jersusalem-  site of events from Christ's Life, esp. the Holy Sepulcher, the location where Christ was crucified and buried.
    • Rome- site of first Christian martyrs, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Lawrence
    • Santiago de Compostela- site of body of St. James, publicized and promoted by the Abbey of Cluny.


Explain what the feudal system was.

  • the political, military, and social system in the Middle Ages, based on the holding of lands in fief or fee and on the resulting relations between lord and vassal
  • In a feudal system, a peasant or worker known as a vassal/serf received a piece of land in return for serving a lord or king, especially during times of war. Vassals were expected to perform various duties in exchange for their own fiefs, or areas of land. Had to pledge alligence to lord or king


How did Romanesque church builders alter the basilican shape in order to accommodate the influx of pilgrims?

  • They added ambululatories
  • entrences on the sides of the church connecting to the ambulatories.
  • ambulatories connected to aisels.
  • Radiating chapels
  • longer/wider naves and aisles, transepts


Portal sculpture communicated what to the pilgrims who paused in front of a western portal?

  • That the last Judgement was near so they should repent to avoid the fires of hell.
  • Also this was God's house
  • proclaim the majesty and power of Christ
  • At the centre of the tympanum, there is Christ who welcomes the Chosen Ones into heaven by raising his right arm. His lowered left hand designates hell and all those that have been judged


What are the major parts of a sculpted Romanesque portal?

  1. Voussoirs (individual stones)
  2. Archivolt (entire row of stones)
  3. Tympanum
  4. Lintel
  5. Door Jambs
  6. Trumeau


What are scriptoria? Why were they important?

  • a room set apart for writing, especially one in a monastery where manuscripts were copied
  • Important because they preserved writing, reading, texts, and history from before dark ages, that would be used to bring europe out of the dark ages.