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  • The Franciscans transformed the spiritual life of 13th-century Europe, especially among the laity in the growing cities, very much as the Benedictines had transformed the spiritual life of a more rural society centuries before.

    Parallel Lives

  • All week long, ensembles from 14 universities, colleges and conservatories will perform repertoire ranging from the 13th-century "Play of Robin and Marion" (University of Southern California) to cantatas by Bach and Telemann (Oberlin Conservatory) to an early brass ensemble playing 17th-century Italian and traditional Chinese music (Indiana University).

    Second-Class Repertoire No More

  • Gems include the late 13th-century Persian manuscript "Two Mountain Rams Fighting," above.

    Exhibit: A Window Into Islamic Art

  • It was Lady Day meets the 13th-century Islamic world.

    Persian Poetry Gets the Blues

  • Once a Silk Road city and established in Roman times, it has a handful of interesting mosques and madrasas to poke around, including the 13th-century Cifte Minareli Medrese (the Twin Minaret madrasa), with a stunning courtyard and painted dome ceilings, and the beautiful Ulu Cami mosque, where the walls are covered in looping Arabic calligraphy.

    Skiing in Turkey: a long way from St Anton

  • Walters Art Museum/Owner of The Archimedes Palimpsest This 13th-century prayer book was made by scraping the original text off the parchment paper, removing the binding, rotating the pages 90 degrees and rebinding the pages in book form.

    Reading Beneath the Lines

  • Courtyard BooksCastle Courtyard, Llangollen, Denbighshire LL20 8NY, 01978869394This long-established, family-run bookshop is beautifully situated around a courtyard near the ruins of a 13th-century castle.

    Independent bookshops in Wales

  • We learn that the imposing 13th-century fortress in Angers (more than 200 miles away from Paris, but accessible thanks to the TGV) was built by Blanche de Castille, Louis VIII's cruel and dynamic wife, who served as regent to Louis VI (St. Louis).

    Sentimental Journeys

  • Four or five hours' drive from Delhi is Kesroli Fort, a 13th-century stronghold tastefully converted into a little hotel with spectacular views over surrounding countryside.

    10 of the best hotels in India

  • (The text is a 13th-century poem describing Mary's response to the death of Jesus.)



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