Overall, these courses allow me to see cultures and history from a multicultural and multi-global perspective. While I was choosing my courses, I imagined a pin point on all the locations where these courses take place; and I became so excited on all the traveling that I would be doing, even if it is through written texts and pictures. Taking courses from different cultures will allow me to see a point of history or cultural traditions from different perspectives. In addition, I really enjoy variety and change and being able to get a sneak peak from an array of history and cultures is definitely more enjoyable and will broaden my understanding of the world. Being able to see a variety of cultures and history will also allow me to see connections and similarities within and out of a specific group that I probably would not have noticed or seen had I taken courses from the same time period or from the same cultural region. Furthermore, my background in art gives me a more deeper appreciation and sometimes understanding when discussing art and their artists, and future employers or graduate school will be able to see that connection that I have to the areas of studies that I have chosen.
With my studies being so arrayed it will give me an advantage of being knowledgeable in multiple areas of studies and not just concentrated in one. In future job hunting for museums or archive locations, or signing up for graduate schools, I will be able to show the employer my ability to comprehend beyond what they believed I was capable of, and I will be able to work in a variety of settings and not just be placed or used to solve problems on a singular topic. In the end, not only is it enjoyable for myself to take such globally varied classes, but it will give me the opportunity to be much more aware and competent when faced with problems that deal with global history and cultures. Additionally, it will be seen as an advantage for graduate school or for future job opportunities, being able to have studied an array of cultures and historic time periods.
Through doing this assignment I had the opportunity to wander into my past to, in ways, analyze my present and plan a route for my future; and in doing so I have come to realize that my informal education has been the stepping stone or fuel for my formal education. After listing some of the experiences that contributed towards my informal education, I realized that they took place in my past and have continued into the present. Being exposed at a young age to literature opened my mind to my love of learning and discovering, but my interest in history started after I read the book “Shakespeare’s Secret” by Elise Broach and I became fascinated by historical figures and the history and stories that they have. The love of history only grew after being exposed to the television program“Liberty’s Kids”, where my personal view was cemented and grew stronger, of history being this never ending collection of stories filled with different people, doing different things. Quickly enough it becomes this entangled web that has led me to love researching history and choosing history as an area of study in college. And in the end, that love of reading and discovering history and its stories has led me to love writing and creating my own stories, and in turn it has shown me my love of researching history.
In like matter, my other areas of study began the same way through my informal education. Looking at my past, I always favored movies and video games that had some sort of historic or archaeological adventure to them, and to this day I still do. Even though I understood that they were not completely accurate I still enjoyed going back and researching the historic bases of them to see the facts hidden in the veil of Hollywood, and by doing that I fell in love with idea of having the opportunity to travel around the world, make archaeological discoveries and see for myself the places that I have read or seen in books or pictures. In addition, my experiences in traveling to my home country in the Dominican Republic, have allowed me to constantly experience and discover something new of my heritage and through it, I found this love of learning of people and cultures from around the world. And in the same weblike interconnected structure, those enjoyments have led me to choose anthropology as one of my areas of study. In the same manner, choosing art history as one of my areas of studies also came from my past informal education. From a very young age I had a love for art and I still continue to pursue that love. It was that experience of doing art along with being exposed to much more art through visiting art museums, like the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, or doing research on my own, that has led me to choose art history as an area of study. In the end, the knowledge that I have acquired has stemmed from both formal and informal education, but I have concluded that my current formal education in college has been factored and born through the experiences and exposure that I had through my informal education in my past. And all together, it forms this interconnected web of causes and effects that will ultimately help me shape a future road for myself.
Research and Studies
Though I’ve never physically rasped my hand against the rocky surface of a Buddhist’s cave temple, nor have I witnessed a man be crucified upon a hill for spreading the words of his god, and neither have I glimpsed, at first hand, the flying buttresses and rib vaulting of Gothic architecture, in my own way I have seen them all and much more. Through the beacon of my college studies work, I have been profoundly fortunate to have been able to traverse through divergent lands and time periods. And through the flowing waves of time, being able to have studied and done research on topics such as these, has allowed for ideas and opinions to softly congeal, that pertain to me studying history, anthropology and art history. Through continues research and by doing studies, I have grown to see how every speck of wood or grand iron fortress, has a purpose and with that purpose comes a defining story behind it. And through coming to this realization I have been allowed to not only find a love in researching the past of our world, but it also has taught me to not take the worth of something at face value based on its appearance, for as the saying goes, “not all that glitters is gold.”
The growing humble and open mindset, of everything having some meaning to it, transcendence past these three research examples of a South Asian Art presentation, and research reports on Christianity and the architecture of Medieval Europe, and allows me to view the small and big significant things in everything around me, and in future endeavors and/or research opportunities, that will need an open mindset that has experience in multiple themes and topics. Overall, though my research and studies touch upon differing topics that scale different global locations and time periods, they all come together to not only teach me about their specific topics, but they also integrate together to effectively show me that there is meaning and there is a story to everything in learning and understanding, about our world’s past, no matter how big nor how small. And as you traverse through the rest of my portfolio, you will continuously see the different things that I have been able to study and what they have taught me in the present, and for my future.
The Spread, Development, and Impact of Christianity
Christianity, a major religion, stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth in the 1st century AD. It has formed to be one of the largest religions of the world. Geographically, it is the most widely spread of all faiths, with a group of more than two billion followers. The religion itself helped create, in essence, identities against a common norm, it fueled the rich and the poor, the strong and weak all alike, and it helped to form some of the biggest religion branching in history. It catapulted from a mysterious cult, persecuted for its threat against the pagan ritualistic society of the Roman empire, to a turning point of victories over Roman traditional views.
The early Romans had worshiped the same gods of the Etruscans, their neighbors to the north. But as time went on, the later Romans adopted the gods of Greeks as their own deities. However, because of Roman traditions and views, people were allowed to worship anything that they truly believed in. As a result of this freedom of religion that accompanied Rome, many different religions and believes flourished in the Roman empire.
Around 30 A.D., a new religious movement started to form among the Jews in the distant borders of the Roman Empire. This group of Jews began to follow the words and teachings of a man by the name of Jesus of Nazareth, eventually known as Jesus Christ. Slowly this new movement of view and faith began to expand to not just Jews, but to many other people, and eventually a new religion was born that would be known as Christianity.
To fully understand anything of Christianity, you must first start with Judaism, because Jesus was born and grew up in the Jewish tradition. He was one of the many teachers spreading his ideas in the Roman province of Judea, "and he was part of a messianic tradition that helps us understand why he was thought of not only teacher but something much, much more."[ "Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11." Youtube.com. Video file. Posted by CrashCourse, April 5, 2012. Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=TG55ErfdaeY.
] The Hebrews, one of the many tribal people who would become the Jews, initially worshiped many gods, in other words they were pagans. They would make sacrifice to their gods to bring things like good weather and good fortune. But eventually, the developed a new type of religion "centered around an idea that would become key to the other great western religions."1 This idea was monotheism, or the idea there is only one true god. The Hebrews developed a second concept that is important to their religion and that would be the idea of the covenant, or a deal with God.
This is prominent in the story of Abraham, or Abram before his conversation with God, where God promised Abraham, land and many children, in exchange for Abraham's devotion and faith in him. But there was catch: God told Abraham "This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised."1 And in exchange for that , God chose Abraham and his descendants "to be a great nation."1
By the time that Jesus was born, the Roman Empire had taken the land of the Israelites as the province of Judea. At the time of Jesus' birth, Judea was controlled by Herod the Great, known for building the massive temple in Jerusalem, that would later be destroyed. And by the time Jesus died, an expanded Judea was under the rule of Herod Antipater. Both Herods took orders from the Romans and both were oppressive to the Jews. In addition they were both Hellenizers, for they brought in Greek theater and architecture, and rationalism. In response to these Hellenistic influences, there were many who sought to bring back the old world traditions and ways of the past, some being the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Zealots.
One of these people who preached the ways of the past, was Jesus of Nazareth, who did not quite fit into any of the four groups mentioned earlier. Through out his life he spoke of peace, love and most importantly justice. He was quite charismatic, attracting a small but incredibly loyal group of followers. His message gave a very affecting impact, mostly to the poor and oppressed people, and his views were considered "radical in its anti-authoritarian stance."1 He constantly threatened the power of the Roman Empire, and effectively opposed their influences and preached that good will always win, and that the poor will always beat the rich. Unfortunately, the views and ways that preached got him arrested, tried and then executed by crucifixion, which was the normal method of killing rebels at that time.
Although Jesus had died, his ideas and messages had not. His words of teaching spread through Jewish communities across the empire."This was helped by energetic apostles, such as Paul and by the modern communications of the Roman Empire."[ Pbs.org. Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/christians.html. ] And it wasn't just because of people like Paul, a huge factor of the spread of Christianity was because of the Pax Romana. It was a time of peace within the Roman Empire, so travel through the empire had become safer and easier.
Over 30 years, Paul, who originally persecuted followers of Jesus but had a revelation after he spoke with Jesus, traveled 10,000 miles across the Roman Empire. He preached in some of the empire's most important cities, although Paul went to places like Ephesus, Philippi, Corinth and Athens who looked magnificent, they were home to tens of thousands of poor and desperate people, who were the target audience "for the Christian message of eternal life."2 Like Jesus, Paul spoke to people in their homes and synagogues. But Paul started to differentiate from Jesus, because Jesus only preached to Jews, unlike Paul, who preached to everyone because he believed his message should also be taken to Gentiles or the non-Jews.
Soon the ancient laws of the Jewish faith, started to become, in a sense, "relaxed." Jewish followers started to go against their beliefs about different things, like food and circumcision. Not only was this like a slap in the face for the strict Jewish followers, it was also another reason for the rapid spread of Christianity. As it continued to except non-Jewish members, it started to move away from the rules of the Jews, and in doing so, it gradually started to become its own separate religion.
"Despite its growing popularity, Christianity was sometimes misunderstood and membership could bring enormous risks."2 The religion started to become widely criticized after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 A.D., where the Emperor Nero tried to divert his own failings by pointing to the Christians, as an easy scapegoat. Even though the followers of Jesus worked hard to spread his message, they were still very few Christians in Rome. They were looked upon with suspicion and some of their important rituals seen or mistaken as cannibalism and incest. Soon enough Christians became an easy target for anyone and anything. Wasting no time, Nero arrested and tortured all Christians in Rome, before executing them in "lavish publicity."2 Some were crucified, some were thrown to wild animals and others were burned alive as living torches.
Despite this, Nero' persecution of the Christian was brief and, in the first century at least, was not repeated in other parts of the empire. Over time, the Christian church and faith grew more organized, with developing an hierarchy of Bishops, Cardinals, Priests and a Pope. In 313 A.D., the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which accepted Christianity: 10 years later, it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Christianity did increase in numbers over the next two centuries, and only one of Constantine's successors, Emperor Julian in the 360s A.D., tried to reinstate paganism as the dominant religion. "But there was no ‘triumph’, no one moment where Christians had visibly ‘won’ some battle against pagans. Progress was bitty, hesitant, geographically patchy."[ Lunn-Rockliffe, Sophie, Dr. "Christianity and the Roman Empire." BBC.co.uk. Last modified February 17, 2012. Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/ christianityromanempire_article_01.shtml.]
One hand Christianity offered spiritual comfort and the hope of salvation, it attracted new career paths and new riches. But lots of pagans, both rich and poor, remained loyal to their old faith. Hundreds of years after Constantine's "conversion", Christianity seemed to be "entrenched as the established religion, sponsored by emperors and protected in law."3 But this does not mean that paganism has disappeared. It may have been, in ways eclipsed as an old world religion, by Christianity, but it still posed a powerful challenge for the Christian church, both politically and religiously.
Architecture of the Medieval Age
Architecture, in the start of the middle ages, was very limited, almost strictly sticking to houses. As people were adjusting to the fall of the Roman Empire, very little attention was given to building buildings other than houses. Other than small churches in various kingdoms like in the Visigoths, Vandals and Merovingian, unfortunately, not much was built.
As time went on, the Eastern Mediterranean area, commissioned by the Roman Emperors, was seeing the construction of grand palaces and churches, like the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople around 550 AD. Around the same time the Ostrogoths were building their churches and palaces in Italy as well. Eventually when the Arabs would conquered the Mediterranean area, around 600s AD, they began to build these gargantuan mosques and palaces, for example the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the great mosque in Kairouan in the year 800.
While that was occurring in the East, the West was getting its own architectural makeover as well. In the West, Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor, began to commission churches and palaces to build, one being the palace at Aachen. His legacy would continue as his own sons and grandsons, followed his way and commissioned their own buildings an example being the Kastor church in Koblenz. By 1000 AD, architecture began to flourish and one of the biggest style of
architecture was born: Romanesque. Europe began to see bigger and better castles and churches, like the baptisty at Pisa, St. Mark's in Venice, St.Germain des Pres and Toulouse. We also begin to see palaces, like the Tower of London and Bromserburg, in Germany. The Arab Caliphs in Spain, also began to build, like the mosque at Crodoba and by the 1100, they were also constructing castles.
When the 1100s hit Romanesque style building became a normal thing and more and more were built, like the abbey church in Regensburg, Germany. The next biggest leap in architecture would be seen around the 1200 AD, when people transitioned from the older Romanesque style to a brand new one called Gothic style. The Gothic style, spread like wild fire, from Italy with their churches at Florence and Pisa, then France with their cathedrals in Laon, Paris, and Chartres, to even England with their Westminster Abbey. In Germany, Gothic style architecture hit them in cities like Munster, Regensburg, Freiburg and Cologne. This time period also brought some very famous buildings like the Louvre and Conciergerie in Paris by the Capetian Kings. The Holy Roman Emperor of the time, commissioned the building of a castle in Heidelberg, Germany. Even Spain, once the Reconquista took over from the Islamic rulers, was hit by Gothic style architecture like their Seville Cathedral. Eventually architecture branched out from just churches and castles, like in Italy and Germany, where big town halls were being build, like Rathauses in Munster, Munich and the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. And while Western Europe was blooming with castles cathedrals and town halls, the Islamic East was growing with their mosque and palaces. Like all good things end, so did the Gothic style with the introduction of the Renaissances, ending the Middle Ages.
Before Romanesque started, there was Pre-Romanesque, starting around the Franks’ Merovingian Dynasty. The Merovingian ruled started around the 5th century,
after Rome fell, and lasted until the late 8th century. When they would built, they stuck to the Roman basilica style of building. And because of their religious beliefs, they started to push the boundaries of building monasteries and they began to include crypts. One important contribution the Merovingian had on architecture is that they were the first to “build raised reliquaries of the saint within their monasteries, located behind the altar” (“Medieval Architecture…”). In essence, the theme of the Pre-Romanesque, is introduction and the fusion between classical Mediterranean and Christian style mixed with Germanic as well, which essentially created a brand new style of architecture, which would go on to lead to the rising of Romanesque style. The Merovingians stuck to their old ways and they would build, monasteries and palaces, using large stones. Once the Frankish kingdom were unified under Clovis the first, a need for building more and more increased, especially churches. In the Merovingian kingdom alone about two hundred monasteries were built, by 585, and only 100 years later, the number would double to over 400 by the end of 7th Century. Eventually, the Merovingian dynasty would be replaced by the Carolingian dynasty around 752 AD. The new dynasty and years to come, would see new variations of architecture, from Carolingian, which started around 780 and lasted till 900 CE, to Ottonian architecture in the Roman Empire, starting around the mid-10th century and ending around the mid-11th century. All of these continuous evolution and additions of architecture would eventually lead to the Romanesque style.
A mixture of Roman, Carolingian, Ottonian, Byzantine and Germanic ideas, Romanesque style architecture is as unique as it sounds. Starting around the mid-11th century it was one of the results of the great Monasticism movement that occurred throughout the 10th and 11th century. Because of the growth in Christianity, larger churches had to be created to accommodate the large groups that would come as wells
as monks and priests and pilgrims. Romanesque architecture can be found throughout the European continent, and because so, it is “the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture” (Romanesque Architecture). The main characteristic of Romanesque architecture is its enormous stature. It can also be defined by its “thick walls, rounded arches, study piers, groin vaults, large towers and its decorated arcades” (Romanesque Architecture). They are extremely defined and very symmetrical, and even though it has massive amounts of regional distinguishes it can still be easily identified. Throughout the spread of Romanesque many castles were built, but, they are far outnumbered by the amount of churches that were constructed.
With the crowning of Charlemagne in 800 CE, a new era in Europe was born. Even after he was gone, Charlemagne’s political successors continued to oversee much of Europe. With them, separate political states started to appear, ones that would eventually become ruling nations, like the Kingdom of Germany. This time also saw the creation of more buildings, not just churches. When William, Duke of Normandy, invaded England in 1066, castles and churches were being built to be used as protection against the Normans. Another aspect that helped increase the spread of Romanesque architecture is feudalism. Feudalism, in short, is when someone of high class, like a knight, would sell land to a peasant and that peasant would work on that land in exchange for military services, like protection in times of war. These peasants would sometimes be told to go to local or regional areas and sometimes they would follow their lord throughout Europe. The movement of these peasants mixed with the Crusades, it caused a large movement of people to spread ideas and trade skills involving building of reinforcements and metal working which would be applied to the fitting and decorating of buildings. This continuous cycle of people teaching each
other led to a uniform way of constructing and the noticeable style of Romanesque even through regional differences.
After the Carolingian era ended, much of Europe became unstable and unsafe. Because of the unsafe atmosphere, castles were built at strategic points for defense. Political struggles happened as well, and because of it towns started being fortified and old Roman walls were rebuilt and strengthened. Because of the fortified towns, space started to become, essentially, a luxury, and so house were starting to be built tall and narrow, like San Gimignano in Tuscany. Not only were buildings being constructed, but the constant movement of people and armies also helped with the construction of bridges.
Romanesque architecture in short is best known for its massive appearance and strength. It relies on its walls and piers, something that it shares in common with Byzantine style architecture. Romanesque architecture is sometimes divided into two periods: “First Romanesque” style and then “Romanesque” style. “First Romanesque used rubble walls, small windows and unvaulted roofs. The second and last period “Romanesque” style made its mark with the use of vaults and dressed stone.
Between the late 1100s and 1200s, the kings of France, were able to take control of southern France and make it part of their kingdom. Eventually the tax money that was collected in the south, which would have been used to build Christian churches, were sent to the capital of the kingdom, Paris. The people of Paris were soon, financially able to create larger buildings using stone. Throughout the south, everyone was constructing their churches in the Romanesque style, but the new churches of the north, were being made in a whole new way, this style being what we know as Gothic.
In terms of differences, the easiest distinguishment between Romanesque and Gothic is in the arches. While Romanesque have rounded arches, Gothic has pointed arches. And while Romanesque used wood for the roofing, Gothic had stone for their roofs. The differences between the two don’t just end there. Gothic style incorporates more windows and bigger windows as well. A big reason for the increase and enlarging of windows, is because architects started experimenting with new ways of constructing roofs and supporting walls, which will lead on to the creation of the groin vault and the flying buttress. Gothic architecture from the very start was usually bigger than Romanesque. By 1200 AD, money was something that became more available, and it could be spent more on constructing bigger churches and buildings.
Gothic architecture was used in a variety of constructions, form castles and palaces to town halls and guild halls, even universities and sometimes, but extremely rarely, private residents. But, it was in churches where the style of architecture “was expressed most powerfully” (Gothic Architecture). The architectural style was almost like a mirror, telling and appealing to emotion, whether the source came from faith or civic pride. After the style spread throughout Europe, in France alone, almost 500 cathedrals churches were built between 1170 and 1270.
In addition, the Gothic cathedrals, most of the time, honored the Virgin Mary. “On a symbolic level, the church was both the Heavenly Jerusalem (the City of God) and a model of the Virgin as Womb of Christ and Queen of Heaven” (The Humanistic Tradition). Inside, the cathedrals were being filled with sculptures, capitals and choir screens; stain glass adorned the windows and chapels were decorated with painted altarpieces; religious dramas were performed inside and outside its doors and liturgical music were performed by its choirs.
“If the Romanesque church constituted a rural retreat for monastics and pilgrims, the Gothic cathedral served as the focal point for an urban community” (The Humanistic Tradition). These Gothic cathedrals, large enough to hold entire towns, were the center of gravity. They dominated towns, soaring high above the houses and shops and attracted events, festivals and businesses. When it came to constructing these magnificent churches, it usually took the entire town, was backed up by funds and labor work of the citizens and guild members, like stonemasons, carpenters, metalworkers, and glaziers.
Unlike Romanesque, which relied on Greco-Roman techniques and styles, Gothic architecture showed a clear break away from tradition. The features that we would recognize as Gothic, were first features in a monastic church in Paris called the abbey church of Saint-Denis. Created by Abbey Suger, a personal friend and advisor to King Louis VI and VII, he continued to change and remake the old building between 1122 and 1144. Suger’s ideas for the east end of the church was a combination of architectural techniques that had only been used occasionally or experimentally: the pointed arch, the rib vault, and stained glass windows. What was resulted from his innovation, was a spacious room, free of heavy stone and filled with light.
While Gothic cathedrals began to take Suger’s design scheme, their floor plan stuck to the same Latin cross design, like Romanesque, except they moved the transept further west to make more room for a larger choir area. What really made Gothic architecture possible was the creation of the rib vault and the flying buttresses, which were both used as solutions to building taller structures. The Flying Buttresses were incline bars that carried the force of a roof or vault. They increased the supporting power and allowed for constructing high ceilinged buildings. The Rib
vaults, are two intersecting vaults that are different widths but the same height. The combination of these new ingenuities, led to the ability of creating buildings and structures that reached new heights and that replaced that cold, condensed feeling of Romanesque with a lighter and airier feeling.
We can’t talk about Gothic architecture, without discussing one of the most significant pieces of Gothic Architecture: Notre Dame de Paris. Begun around 1160, by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, Notre Dame de Paris, also called the Notre Dame Cathedral, is one the most widely known Gothic cathedrals of the Middle ages and is "distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest" ( Notre-Dame de Paris). It is also the first Gothic Cathedral to incorporate flying buttresses.
The humongous Gothic cathedral is adorned with sharp spires and towers and statues of gargoyles, which influenced my opinion on the architectural piece. I believe that the overall structure and look of the cathedral is a representation of how the people felt and what was occurring during their time. I speculate that it was a very dark and eerie time, represented by the vividly dark and beauty details placed on the cathedral. For examples, the gargoyles can be interpreted as protectors from evil spirit. This was a time when a big part of the population were illiterate, so obvious symbols were used to teach people who could not read or write.
Another interesting aspect about the cathedral, is the size of it, it was enormous for the time it was built and it is still considered a very big building in this time. I believe a reason why they made it so big was because of the people wanting a sense of protection, not just from outside forces but from forces on the inside as well. Tying back to the previous example about the gargoyles, the enormousness of the cathedral could have been seen as a place to go if there was any trouble. Criminals could plead sanctuary inside and escape from arrest. In a more spiritual sense, having the
cathedral so large, could have been seen as reaching heaven, it was so tall and so large there was no way it could not have reached heaven.
Overall the Notre Dame Cathedral is an incredible piece of architecture that showed how the time and the people during that time were like. I can speculate that it was a dark era, where there was a want of protection and spiritual enlightenment.
These enormous cathedrals often took decades to complete and many were never completed. Unlike the Romanesque churches, which had simple geometric designs, Gothic cathedrals used intricate stone designs and patterns. But despite the complexity, Gothic cathedrals followed proportional principles whose goal was getting a congruent design. “These architects did not exaggerate the expression of the principles of the Gothic style: they merely developed it” (Crossley).
During the thirteenth century and after it, cathedrals grew in their structure and the complexity of ordaining. “Flying Buttresses became ornate stone wings terminating in mini chapels that housed individual statues of saints and martyrs” (The Humanistic Tradition). In addition, crockets (exquisite leaves) and finials (crowning decorative details) grew in numbers from gable and spires, and the number of details that were places in the sculpting grew immensely as well.
By the end of the 12th century, Europe was composed of divided city states and kingdoms, who on occasions would influence each other, like Scandinavian countries and Poland being influenced by the Hanseatic group and the Angevin kings brining French Gothic style to Southern Italy. It was during this time as well, where there was a growth in trade between towns. Germany and Lowlands grew with peaceful towns that traded and competed with each other and civic building was an important way to show a town’s wealth and power. England and France stayed consistently feudal and
they stuck to building lavage structures for their kings and royal courts rather than town halls.
Gothic architecture would eventually go through different phases, and after 1250 AD, its focus would shift from creating structures that are harmonious to creating the most elaborate visual decorations. This shift would lead on to creating different styles, like the French Flamboyant style, that started around 1280 AD and the English Perpendicular style starting in 1375.
The Flamboyant style brought continuous sweep of glass and tracery and the reduction of supporting shafts. The outside was covered with traceries which decorated masonries and windows as well. In general it was filled with complicated patterns. On the other hand, the Perpendicular style was known for its prevalence of vertical lines, enlarging of windows to great proportions and its unifying of the interior stories into a singular vertical area. And eventually the typical Gothic vaults were replaced by fan vaults.
By the later of Gothic, more attention was given to non-religious buildings. Soon town halls, guildhalls and even some residence were being built in the Flamboyant Gothic style. Eventually becoming too complicated and refined, the Flamboyant style would go to give away to the Renaissance style in the 16th century.
Gothic would reach its end with the entrance of the Renaissance around the 16th century. Architecturally, the shift at first wasn’t noticeably, the differences being merely decorative factors. Because of this it is hard to distinguish between late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture, like the Franche-Comté chantry chapel at Brou and Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster.
“But it is possible to suggest a more profound character to the change. Late Gothic has a peculiar aura of finality about it” (Martindale). As the Gothic Style
reached its later years, this repetitiveness of extreme decorating became more and more obvious. Professor Martindale of East Anglia goes on to state that even though the transition to Renaissance was going back to the classic ways, it was still a refreshing and alternative way of constructing that was inevitable of happening, and was “a matter of coincidence and convenience” (Martindale).
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Art History of South Asia
When I first chose Interdisciplinary Studies as my major, I was very excited to be able to study multiple areas of studies, and not be stuck choosing one, and neglecting other areas that I equally love. But, at that state of my undergraduate career that was the only thing that I thought interdisciplinary studies was. I had this very basic image of interdisciplinary studies being just studying multiple disciplines and nothing more. And at this moment, I am glad that I was given a completely different understanding of Interdisciplinary Studies and realizing that it is not only a major but a manner of thinking and visualizing the world. Through this course, I realized how Interdisciplinary studies is not just relying on multiple disciplines for guidance, as would a multidisciplinary perspective, but instead Interdisciplinary takes those different and relevant disciplines and integrates them to create a cohesive understanding that takes into accounts multiple disciplinary points of view.
With this introductory course, I have realized how blinding, and, in Repko’s words, biased, disciplines are, with many of them turning a blind eye or refusing to acknowledge that a problem, that a particular disciplines intakes, could be viewed and positively examined by different disciplines, to obtain a more three dimensional conclusion, that has looked at the problem from the different lenses of the relevant disciplines. And it was after taking this class that I became aware of the disciplinary bias and blindness, when I think of previous courses that I have taken or that I am taking right now. I have taken noticed how very little we analyzed a certain topic from multiple points of view, and this has led me to have begun to wonder why is that so persistent. Once I started to thinking about those previous courses or my current courses, I can remember wanting to branch away from the one dimensional perspective view of a topic and see it from different perspectives, and I am glad that now I am encouraged to do so.
After having taking this course I have come to realize that I want to actively seek the different sides and the different points of view that a problem can take, so that I could reach a very complex conclusion that is constructed from multiple layers. And so in the future when I get research assignment on a certain topic I want to take that topic and break it down to its foundational components so that I could see the different lenses of disciplinary perspectives that it could take. For example, if I have to analyze a particular war in history, I would break it down to analyze the different sides that took place in that particular war and view the negative and positive causes and impacts that the war led to, instead of simply viewing the war from the side of the winners or the side of the loosing opponents. Overall, I have come to realize how the focus of interdisciplinary studies and research is very much centered in the integration of relevant disciplines to create a more comprehensively tolerant and open-minded mentality to a problem, than simply analyzing a problem from its face value. And in my future endeavors, I want to take these new thinking competencies to think more abstractly about a problem, so that I am able to reach a conclusion, that does not necessarily have to be a direct end, but can also be new understandings.