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1. the Mediaeval Landscape: An overview

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Chapter Summary

The marble richness of the remains of Antiquity surely impressed successors, impelling them to re-use the materials for new types of architecture, as perhaps happened at Córdoba, with its sumptuous mosque. In our Crescent, then, a popular refrain right up to the early 20th century was not only how many monuments remained, but also how Roman the landscapes still looked, even if in ruins–sanctuaries, towns and agricultural hinterland, practically untouched by encroaching sedentary civilization. Marble and other stonez are far from being the only possible structural building materials, and the Romans generally built the skeleton in brick/tile or concrete, and used marble for the cladding and decoration. The ruins in some mediaeval landscapes survived as if in aspic was because silting, wind-blown sand, or coast movements had changed the terrain and converted cities and monuments from sea-accessible to marsh-surrounded and difficult of access, at least from the sea.

Keywords:ancient monuments; marble; mediaeval landscape; Roman

10.1163/9789004229273_003
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