ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE. The somewhat misleading name Romanesque is ap plied to the non-Byzantine architecture of Chris tian Europe generally, from the fall of Rome (476) to the rise of Gothic architecture in the 12th century. Its greatest development be gan with the 11th century and continued well into the 12th. While in certain regions the influ ence of Roman remains was considerable and while in Italy traditions of Roman design per sisted long, the outstanding characteristic of the Romanesque architecture generally is its independent development along predominantly structural lines as the parent of the splendid Gothic styles of the 13th to 15th centuries. It has, indeed, been called by some writers the °round-arched Gothic" style. It was through out an architecture of religion, because the Christian Church was the chief civilizing agency of the early Middle Ages. Outside of Italy, and to a great extent there also, it was an architecture of monasteries, especially of the great Benedictine order. It is, however, really not one style but several. In Italy it developed the Basilican or Latin style in and around Rome, the Lombardy style in Lombardy and the north, the Tuscan Romanesque in Florence, Pisa and their neighborhood. The Byzantine style was influential in eastern Italy and in Sicily the Arabic and Byzantine influence mingled with the basilican tradition. Another phase was later developed along the Rhine Valley. It was in France that it took on the greatest independ ence and vitality, though there, also, are many marked provincial variations ; and from Nor mandy it spread to England, taking on a new character called the Norman, or more properly the Anglo-Norman.
General Character.— All the Romanesque styles show steady progress from the crude and simple efforts at architectural expression of communities slowly em from from the chaos of the centuries following the fall of Rome, toward a highly organized, structurally elabo rate type of church edifice and of monastic buildings. The church plan, at first simply basilican (see BASILICA), became increasingly varied and complex to meet the growth and changes of liturgy and ritual. The transept and crossing became more important; a lantern, tower or dome was often erected over the cross ing; the eastern arm of the church was length ened and chapels for the worship of various saints opened out from the transepts and apse.
Bell-towers were added, detached in Italy, at tached in France, England and Germany. Structurally two great changes es from the early basilican types were evolved; (a) masonry piers, square, round or clustered, took the place of columns between nave and aisles; and (b) vaulting gradually replaced the wooden ceilings, first in the side-aisles, later in the high central aisle or nave. In Italy the supply of antique marble columns led to a longer continuance of the use of columns, the tradition lasting even after Roman shafts were no longer to be had, and many Lombard, Tuscan and Sicilian churches have columnar interiors. Elsewhere piers of stone had to be used from the first. The use of vaulting was primarily the result of scarcity of timber and of the destruction by fire of many of the wooden-roofed churches. These two changes compelled a far more mas sive construction than that of the non-vaulted wooden-roofed, columnar basilicas. The ma sonry was at first crude and heavy, especially in France and England. Walls were thick; round arches were universally used and built of stepped section with splayed or stepped jambs and jamb-shafts, especially in the doorways. Carving was at first scanty and rude, but advanced steadily in richness and refine ment and in the 12th century sculpture was rapidly developed, especially in France. Vault ing became more scientific; groined vaults everywhere displaced the heavy barrel-vault over the nave as well as the side-aisles and in the 12th century the use of vault-ribs became general in their construction. The problems of support and abutment created by these changes compelled new experiments in the construction of walls, piers and buttresses, in which the masonry was more and more concentrated at the points of chief strain. (See Burreass; VAULT). In all this structural develop ment wholly new forms of architecture were created, both in the masses and details. In addition the monasteries developed the cloister with its arcaded court and various types of chapels, refectories and other dependencies. In general the exteriors of buildings were severely plain, except the richly carved portals; the interiors of churches were increasingly spacious and lofty as the style developed. Domical baptisteries and round chapels were frequent in the earlier centuries, especially in Italy and the Rhine Valley.