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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/427

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PART II.

CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE.

BOOK I.


CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY.

iF a line were drawn north and south from Memel on the shores of the Baltic to Spalatro on the Adriatic, it would divide Europe into nearly equal halves. All that part lying to the west of the line would be found to be inhabited by nations of Celtic or Teutonic races, and all those to the eastward of it by nations of Sclavonic origin, if—as we must do—we exclude from present consideration those fragments of the effete Turanian races which still linger to the westward, as well as the intrusive hordes of the same family which temporarily occupy some fair portions to the eastward of the line so drawn.

This line is not of course quite straight, for it follows the boundary between Germany on the one hand, and Russia and Poland on the other as far as Cracow, while it crosses Hungary by the line of the Raab and separates Dalmatia from Turkey. Though Sclavonic influences may be detected to the Avestward of the boundary, they are faint and underlie the Teutonic element; but to the eastward, the little province of Siebenburgen, in the north-east corner of Hungary, forms the only little oasis of Gothic art in the desert of Panslavic indifference to architectural expression. Originally it was a Roman, afterwards the German, colony, and maintained its Gothic style throughout the Middle Ages.[1]

  1. In the Museum at Pesth are a number of objects of Egyptian art, said to have been found in this quarter. Is it too much to assume the pre-existence of a Phœnician or Egyptian colony here before the Roman times?