Master Builders of the Middle Ages

New Word City, Inc.
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Today, the great cathedrals of Europe stand as beautiful, imposing monuments - the pride of parishioners and the wonder of tourists. It is difficult for us now, even with all our engineering and architectural skills, to imagine the extraordinary ways these medieval houses of worship were constructed.

Midway through the twelfth century, the building of cathedrals became a crusade to erect awe-inspiring churches across Europe. In their zeal, bishops, monks, masons, and workmen created the architectural style known as Gothic, arguably Christianity’s greatest contribution to the world’s art and architecture. The style evolved slowly and almost accidentally as medieval artisans combined ingenuity, inspiration, and brute strength to create a fitting monument to their God.

Here are the dramatic stories of the building of Saint-Denis, Notre Dame, Chartres, Reims, and other Gothic cathedrals.
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About the author

David Jacobs is the author of Istanbul: A History and Master Builders of the Middle Ages.

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Additional Information

Publisher
New Word City, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 30, 2016
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Pages
154
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ISBN
9781936529612
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Buildings / Landmarks & Monuments
Architecture / History / Medieval
History / Europe / General
History / Medieval
History / Middle East / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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For centuries, the inlet called the Golden Horn and the city on the hills overlooking it were situated in the middle of the known world. To the south, through the Dardanelles and the Aegean Sea, lay the Mediterranean, around which the Greek, Roman, Persian, and Arab worlds revolved. To the north, through the Bosporus, lay the Black Sea, with its Russian and eastern European coastline. And across the narrow Bosporus was Asia Minor, bridge to the Orient. Because of its strategic location, the city on the Golden Horn was coveted by a succession of different peoples. But even though it frequently was under siege, even though control of it often changed hands, and even though, indeed, it was conquered and leveled more than once, the city proved to be virtually immortal.

Founded nearly twenty-seven centuries ago as the Greek colony of Byzantium, the city was harassed by the barbaric Thracians, attacked by the Persians, vied for by the Athenians and Spartans. Weakened and dispirited, its citizens finally were forced to seek the protection of Rome, and the city became little more than a Roman outpost. Then, in the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I decided to build his capital on the site. It was in the new city of Constantinople that ancient Greco-Roman culture was married to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and that Western civilization became Christian civilization. As the center of the vast Byzantine Empire, the city was one of the richest and most important on earth. But because of its wealth, it was sacked by the Crusaders in 1204. And because of its strategic location, it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Since then, as the city of Istanbul, it has remained an international metropolis, a city of East and West, a city whose great paintings, mosaics, statuary, and architecture reflect the many cultures that have been centered there and the many ages the city has survived. Here is its story.
At its most expansive, the Roman Empire stretched from the British Isles to Egypt; Rome was the ancient world's greatest superpower. Roman Architecture: A Visual Guide is an illustrated introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire. Published as a companion volume to Diana E. E. Kleiner's course on Roman Architecture given through Coursera (first offered in January 2014 but based on a class she has long taught at Yale), this enhanced e-book explores not only Rome but also buildings preserved at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Tivoli, North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, and North Africa. Beginning with the birth of Rome as an Iron Age village, Roman Architecture traces the growth and expansion of the Roman Empire through its cities, which featured civic, religious, commercial, entertainment, and residential districts in the urban setting. A valuable resource for both the student and the traveler, Roman Architecture features over 250 photographs and site plans of the most intriguing and consequential buildings in the Roman Empire. These are presented from the fresh perspective of an author who has journeyed to nearly all of the sites, revealing most of them through her own digital images. In addition, this interactive e-book makes learning about these monuments easier than ever, with handy maps and geolocation links that show you just where the monuments are and, if you're traveling, how to get there. Suitable for the classroom and as a guidebook, Roman Architecture is a fascinating introduction to some of history's most compelling and influential architecture.

For centuries, the inlet called the Golden Horn and the city on the hills overlooking it were situated in the middle of the known world. To the south, through the Dardanelles and the Aegean Sea, lay the Mediterranean, around which the Greek, Roman, Persian, and Arab worlds revolved. To the north, through the Bosporus, lay the Black Sea, with its Russian and eastern European coastline. And across the narrow Bosporus was Asia Minor, bridge to the Orient. Because of its strategic location, the city on the Golden Horn was coveted by a succession of different peoples. But even though it frequently was under siege, even though control of it often changed hands, and even though, indeed, it was conquered and leveled more than once, the city proved to be virtually immortal.

Founded nearly twenty-seven centuries ago as the Greek colony of Byzantium, the city was harassed by the barbaric Thracians, attacked by the Persians, vied for by the Athenians and Spartans. Weakened and dispirited, its citizens finally were forced to seek the protection of Rome, and the city became little more than a Roman outpost. Then, in the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I decided to build his capital on the site. It was in the new city of Constantinople that ancient Greco-Roman culture was married to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and that Western civilization became Christian civilization. As the center of the vast Byzantine Empire, the city was one of the richest and most important on earth. But because of its wealth, it was sacked by the Crusaders in 1204. And because of its strategic location, it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Since then, as the city of Istanbul, it has remained an international metropolis, a city of East and West, a city whose great paintings, mosaics, statuary, and architecture reflect the many cultures that have been centered there and the many ages the city has survived. Here is its story.
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