• Visigothic Architecture - How did Visigoth churches get to Ireland from Iberia?

    Tom Durwood (see profile) , Jamie L. Higgs
    Architecture, History, Iberia (Kingdom), Educaton, Ireland
    Item Type:
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    visigothic, Architectural history, Iberian studies, Irish history
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    How do cultural influences travel from place to place? It is sometimes easy to trace these lines of influence in the modern era, but how did this process work in the past? Looking at the past, how can we decipher which elements of architecture or music or literature came from which sub-culture? In her dissertation, the author looks closely at churches of the 9th century and finds that the architectural styles we have thought of as Anglo Saxon may actually be Visigoth. She cites a tiny Celtic colony called Britonia, located in the Galician region of what is now Spain, as a vehicle or agent for the transmission of Visigoth architecture to England. The connections among these far-flung church structures indicate that, while it is easier for us to consider “English” history and “Spanish” history as separate, it was in some ways a single interconnected medieval world. Elsewhere in the dissertation, the author points out that for many centuries in many cultures, “architecture” meant principally church architecture. You and I may take it for granted that all ancient churches are designed in more or less the same layout, but Prof. Higgs lays out a timeline of progression for each element of church architecture — It is also interesting how the content of the church service influenced the church’s design. As often happens, you cannot fully appreciate a single field of study without understanding several others – in this case, the spread of Christianity is linked with the spread of architecture.
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    5 years ago
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