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This paper presents and discusses four Latin tombstones relating to Italian residents of medieval Ephesus that have been recovered from properties on the terrace of Ayasuluk (Selçuk), near the Byzantine Church of St John the Evangelist. Two of them, dating from the late 14th century, were originally published in 1937, while the other two, from the mid- 15th century, came to light more recently in January 2017.
The layout of the complex of fourth-century buildings begun by the Emperor Constantine I to enclose the tomb of Christ and the site of the crucifixion in Jerusalem is now reasonably well understood, as a result of excavations and restoration work undertaken over the last half century [Fig. 3.1]. The rock-cut tomb, detached from its parent rock, was enclosed by a small chapel or aedicule, around which was constructed a timber-roofed rotunda surrounded on all but the east side by an ambulatory with a timber gallery. The rotunda was entered on the east from a peristyled courtyard, which enclosed the rock of Calvary or Golgotha and other sites associated with the Passion. To the east of this stood a five-aisled basilica, also with galleries and with its apse on the west built over the spot where Helena was supposed to have found the relic of the True Cross. The basilica in turn was separated from the city’s colonnaded cardo by an atrium, propylaeum and steps.
This complex of buildings survived in more or less the same form until September 1009, when most of it was demolished by the Muslim governor of Ramla, Yārūkh, on the orders of the deranged Fatimid caliph al-Ḥākim, at a time when other Christian buildings in Palestine were also being attacked and destroyed. Rebuilding seems to have begun very soon afterwards. The Malkite Christian writer Yaḥyā ibn Sa‘īd al-Anṭākī relates, for instance, that in 1011 al-Mufarrij of the Jarrāḥ tribe seized Ramla during a revolt of the Arabs in Palestine. He appointed a new patriarch, Theophilus from Hibal in Wādī Mūsa, and encouraged the Christians to start rebuilding the Church of the Resurrection, even paying towards the work himself until his death in August 1013. When Theophilus died in 1020 he was succeeded as patriarch by Nicephorus (1020–36), a former joiner in al-Ḥākim’s palace; but because of local Muslim opposition, Nicephorus returned to Cairo and sought from al-Ḥākim a sijill granting protection to the Christian community, the restoration of the church’s endowments and ‘the cessation of all hostility against those of them who pray in the precincts of the church called the Resurrection [al-Quyāma] and of its court’.
An isolated building in the Wadi al-Qarn below the castle of Montfort has attracted the attention of travellers for over two centuries. Various explanations have been suggested for it. A detailed survey, however, carried out in September 1982, now allows its character to be understood more fully than hitherto. It is suggested that the earliest part of the structure was a mill-house, associated witha masonry dam built across the valley. This phase may be dated to the twelfth or thirteenth century before 1228, when it is possible to identify it with a mill dependent on the village of Trefile, which belonged at that date to the Teutonic Order. The second phase represents a domestic hall, built over the top of the mill-house, which then went out of use. The hall's architecture and masonry marks allow it to be associated with a later phase of the castle itself, datable to some period between 1229 and 1266. It is suggested that it was a guest house, dependent on the castle of the Teutonic Knights, and intended for the use of important secular or ecclesiastical visitors and their households.
Although the main purpose of this article has been that of presenting as full and objective an account as possible of the surviving medieval towers in Tuscania, believing that ‘facts’ rarely speak for themselves, I have attempted in the first two sections to set the building of the towers within the context of the social and political changes and topographical transformations that were taking place between the end of the tenth century and the end of the fifteenth century. One result of this has been to indicate how the role of towers themselves underwent change during that period.
The towers covered by this survey are all those of medieval date which do not form part of the town walls (for which, see: Andrews and Gibson 1972) and are not church towers (for which, see: Serafini, 1927, 85–7; Raspi Serra, 1971). It may be noted in this connection that the term ‘tower-house’ (Italian, casa-torre) is more properly applied to towers, or tower-like structures, adapted for permanent domestic residence, than to the type of refuge tower to which many of the examples in Tuscania belong. Since the uses to which towers were put often varied during the long span of their existence, however, ‘tower-house’ has on occasion been used as a blanket term for any tower of the types found in this catalogue.
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