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The medieval treasure house, consisting of sacristy, vestry and treasure rooms was the depository for the ecclesiastical treasure belonging to a church, holy vessels, vestments, altar hangings, candlesticks and priceless liturgical books and reliquaries. It was carefully designed to convey the message of its status and function.
A book devoted to these medieval museums which housed such precious materials is long overdue. Ironically, the interest in the objects that they conserved has often resulted in ecclesiastical treasure being removed to new museums, leaving their former places of protection in need of protection themselves.
Essays on Pockets, Pouches and Secret Drawers
Volume Editors: , , and
This essay collection focuses on enclosure, deception and secrecy in three spatial areas – the body, clothing and furniture. It contributes to the study of private life and explores the micro-history of hidden spaces. The contents of pockets may prove a surer index to their owner’s real thoughts than anything they say; a piece of furniture with ingenious mechanisms created to conceal secrets may also reveal someone’s attempts to break in and thus give away as much as it holds. Though the book’s focus is on particular material or imagined objects, taken as a whole it exemplifies a range of interdisciplinary encounters between history, literary criticism, art history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, sociology, criminology, archival studies, museology and curating, and women’s studies.
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As a master of his discipline, the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius has been read widely for centuries. This collection of essays by an international team of experts investigates his influence and reception in ideas, artistic forms, and building practices from antiquity to modern day. The stories of influence told in these pages suggest that it is the unbridgeable gulf between the Vitruvian text and surviving monuments that makes reading the Ten Books so endlessly compelling. The contributors to this volume offer their own, original readings, which are organized into the five sections: transmission; translation; reception; practice; and Vitruvian topics.
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Structured as five microhistories c. 632-705, this book offers a counternarrative for the formation of Islamic architecture and the Islamic state. It adopts a novel periodization informed by moments of historical violence and anxiety around caliphal identities in flux, animating histories of the minbar, throne, and maqsura as a principal nexus for navigating this anxiety. It expands outward to re-assess the mosque and palace with a focus on the Qubbat al-Khadraʾ and the Dar al-Imara in Kufa. It culminates in a reading of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem as a site where eschatological anxieties and political survival converge.
This volume, the second of three, offers an anthology of Western descriptions of Islamic religious buildings in Syria, Egypt and North Africa, mostly from the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries, taken from travel books and ambassadorial reports. (The third volume will deal with Islamic palaces around the Mediterranean.) As travel became easier and cheaper, thanks to better roads, steamships, hotels and railways, tourist numbers increased, museums accumulated eastern treasures, illustrated journals proliferated, and photography provided accurate data. All three deal with the impact of Western trade, taste and imports on the East, and examine the encroachment of westernised modernism.
Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era
Land Air Sea: Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era positions the long Renaissance and eighteenth century as being vital for understanding how many of the concerns present in contemporary debates on climate change and sustainability originated in earlier centuries. Traversing three physical and intellectual domains, Land Air Sea consists of case studies examining how questions of environmentalism were formulated in early modern architecture and the built environment. Addressing emergent technologies, indigenous cultural beliefs, natural philosophy, and political statecraft, this book aims to recast our modernist conceptions of what buildings are by uncovering early modern epistemologies that redefined human impact on the habitable world.
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With its reconversion to a mosque in August 2020, the former monastic church of Saint Saviour in Chora entered yet another phase of its long history. The present book examines the Chora/Kariye Camii site from a transcultural perspective, tracing its continuous transformations in form and function from Late Antiquity to the present day. Whereas previous literature has almost exclusively placed emphasis on the Byzantine phase of the building’s history, including the status of its mosaics and paintings as major works of Palaiologan culture, this study is the first to investigate the shifting meanings with which the Chora/Kariye Camii site has been invested over time and across uninterrupted alterations, interventions, and transformations. Bringing together contributions from archaeologists, art historians, philologists, anthroplogists and historians, the volume provides a new framework for understanding not only this building but, more generally, edifices that have undergone interventions and transformations within multicultural societies.

The open access publication of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.