Glossary

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There are currently 15 terms in this directory beginning with the letter S.
S

Salah al-Din
Salah al-Din (1137–97) was founder of Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1260) in north Africa and west Asia. In 1187 he conquered Jerusalem. He is often referred to in western sources as Saladin.

scriptorium (pl. scriptoria)
Latin, used to refer to the place of writing, often a room in a monastery where nuns and monks copied sacred texts.

Seaxburh
Seaxburh (7th c.) was daughter of an East Anglian king and sister of Æthelthryth [q.v.].

seiðkona
In Norse society, a sorceress or practitioner of seiðr or the highest type of magic.

Shinto (神道)
The indigenous religion of Japan which involves the worship of kami [q.v] in the landscape, in rocks, trees, mountains and the sea.

Sigyn
In Norse mythology [q.v.], a god who is wife of Loki [q.v.].

Sleipnir
In Norse mythology [q.v.], Odin's [q.v.] horse and son of Loki [q.v.]. Sleipnir has eight legs and runes [q.v.] etched on his teeth.

Sogdians
The Sogdians were a people speaking an east Iranian language who ruled a kingdom from the central Asian cities around Samarkand from the 6th century BC. They were known as merchants who traded from the Black Sea to China.

stave
On manuscript scrolls, a piece of wood held inside a fold of the paper at the start as strengthening.

Stele
A monumental stone or slab with inscribed ornamentation and/or text.

steppe
The geographic region of the world defined by semi-arid grassland and which consists of a band across much of central Eurasia extending from the Caucasus mountains to eastern Mongolia.

stupa
In Buddhism [q.v.], a building housing relics [q.v.] and often considered to be the embodiment of Buddha [q.v.].

sutra
In a Buddhist [q.v.] context, the lectures of the historical Buddha [q.v.]. One if the three parts of the Buddhist Canon, the Tripiṭaka [q.v.].

swastika
A symbol used in several cultures, including Buddhism, in the form of a cross with the ends bent at right-angles.

Synod of Whitby
The Synod or Council held by Christian leaders in 664 at Hild’s [q.v.] monastery [q.v.] at Whitby in northeast England. The Council decided to follow the customs of the Roman rather than the Celtic church.