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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Carved Ivory Puzzle Balls, Erica M. Schaumberg Oct 2017

Carved Ivory Puzzle Balls, Erica M. Schaumberg

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

The Chinese Carved Ivory Puzzle Balls reference the interest in combing art and nature while designating curiosity in Chinese craftsmanship and imagery affecting a European market.The Chinese Ivory Carved Puzzle Balls have been beloved items in the Gettysburg College collection since they were donated in 1959 by Frank Kramer and John Hampshire. The Puzzle Balls, featuring nine balls were displayed in the Schmucker Hall Library. Alumni love the items and regularly ask about the collection in Special Collections as they represent an aspect of the college they continue to love. [excerpt]


Blue-And-White Wonder: Ming Dynasty Porcelain Plate, Laura G. Waters Oct 2017

Blue-And-White Wonder: Ming Dynasty Porcelain Plate, Laura G. Waters

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

This authentic Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) plate is a prime example of early export porcelain, a luminous substance that enthralled European collectors. The generous gift of Joyce P. Bishop in honor of her daughter, Kimberly Bishop Connors, Ming Dynasty Blue-and-White Plate is on loan from the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The plate itself is approximately 7.75 inches (20 cm) in diameter, and appears much deeper from the bottom than it does from the top. Gradually sloping forms are what make the dish so deceptively shallow. In fact, from the reverse, it appears closer in ...


Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman Dec 2016

Chinese Porcelain And The Material Taxonomies Of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters With Disruptive Substances In Twelfth-Century Yemen, Elizabeth Lambourn, Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman

The Medieval Globe

This article focuses on a set of legal questions about ṣīnī vessels (literally, “Chinese” vessels) sent from the Jewish community in Aden to Fustat (Old Cairo) in the mid-1130s CE and now preserved among the Cairo Geniza holdings in Cambridge University Library. This is the earliest dated and localized query about the status of ṣīnī vessels with respect to the Jewish law of vessels used for food consumption. Our analysis of these queries suggests that their phrasing and timing can be linked to the contemporaneous appearance in the Yemen of a new type of Chinese ceramic ware, qingbai, which confounded ...


Epilogue: A Hypothesis On The East Asian Beginnings Of The Yersinia Pestis Polytomy, Robert Hymes Jan 2016

Epilogue: A Hypothesis On The East Asian Beginnings Of The Yersinia Pestis Polytomy, Robert Hymes

The Medieval Globe

The work of Cui et al. (2013)—in both dating the polytomy that produced most existing strains of Yersinia pestis and locating its original home to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau—offers a genetically derived specific historical proposition for historians of East and Central Asia to investigate from their own sources. The present article offers the hypothesis that the polytomy manifests itself in the Mongol invasion of the Xia state in the Gansu corridor in the early thirteenth century and continues in the Mongols’ expansion into China and other parts of Eurasia. The hypothesis relies to a considerable extent on work of ...


Tilting Toward The Light: Translating The Medieval World On The Ming-Mongolian Frontier, Carla Nappi Dec 2015

Tilting Toward The Light: Translating The Medieval World On The Ming-Mongolian Frontier, Carla Nappi

The Medieval Globe

Ming China maintained relationships with neighboring peoples such as the Mongols by educating bureaucrats trained to translate many different foreign languages. While the reference works these men used were designed to facilitate their work, they also conveyed a specific vision of the past and a taxonomy of cultural differences that constitute valuable historical sources in their own right, illuminating the worldview of the Chinese-Mongolian frontier.


Towards A Connected History Of Equine Cultures In South Asia: Bahrī (Sea) Horses And “Horsemania” In Thirteenth-Century South India, Elizabeth Lambourn Dec 2015

Towards A Connected History Of Equine Cultures In South Asia: Bahrī (Sea) Horses And “Horsemania” In Thirteenth-Century South India, Elizabeth Lambourn

The Medieval Globe

This article explores ways that the concept of equine cultures, developed thus far principally in European and/or early modern and colonial contexts, might translate to premodern South Asia. As a first contribution to a history of equine matters in South Asia, it focuses on the maritime circulation of horses from the Middle East to Peninsular India in the thirteenth century, examining the different ways that this phenomenon is recorded in textual and material sources and exploring their potential for writing a new, more connected history of South Asia and the Indian Ocean world.


Periodization And “The Medieval Globe”: A Conversation, Kathleen Davis, Michael Puett Dec 2015

Periodization And “The Medieval Globe”: A Conversation, Kathleen Davis, Michael Puett

The Medieval Globe

The period categories “medieval” and “modern” emerged with—and have long served to define and legitimate—the projects of western European imperialism and colonialism. The idea of “the medieval globe” is therefore double edged. On the one hand, it runs the risk of reconfirming the terms of the colonial, Orientalist history through which the “medieval” emerged, thus homogenizing the plural temporalities of global cultures and effacing the material effects of the becoming of the Middle Ages and its relationship to conditions of globalization. On the other hand, “the medieval globe” brings to bear a comparative focus that does not ask ...