The Feast of St. Edmund

Wolf with the head of St. Edmund

I only discovered A Clerk of Oxford this month, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite blogs. The blogger is a medievalist who writes long, fascinating posts highlighted by her excellent translations from Old English. Today, for the Feast of St. Edmund, she offers generous selections from Ælfric’s Life of Edmund (10th Century), both in the original, so you get the sense [Read More...]

Medieval Handwriting: The App

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I don’t expect that many of you need to learn to distinguish among and transcribe the many kinds of medieval hands found in old manuscripts, but Medieval Handwriting is still a must for medieval buffs. The app, available for Android and iOS, includes 26 religious manuscript pages. Each has an introduction, specimen letter forms, and [Read More...]

The Bible of St. Louis

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The Bible of St. Louis is one of the greatest works of illumination in history, with 4,887 illustrations providing an astonishing view of both scripture and the 13th century. The three volumes contain excerpts from the Bible and commentary. They were commissioned between 1226 and 1234 by Blanche of Castile for the education of her son, King [Read More...]

St. Thomas Aquinas Believed in Ghosts

St. Thomas Aquinas at Prayer

We’re coming up fast on Halloween, so I want to jump ahead a bit to see what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about ghosts. The section is found in the Summa Theologica, Supplementum Tertiæ Partis: Question 69. Matters concerning the resurrection, and first of the place where souls are after death, Article 3. Whether [Read More...]

Did King Harold Survive the Battle of Hastings?

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The team of surveyors who found the body of Richard III is hoping they’re on a roll. Their next mission is to prove that King Harold II survived the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and lived to a ripe old age in a monastery. The Bayeux Tapestry shows Harold–last king of the Anglo-Saxons–shot in the eye [Read More...]

The Greatest Desk For Book Lovers Ever

bookwheel

And I’m not even kidding. Behold the book wheel, for people who like to multitask:   Erik Kwakkel’s indispensable Medieval Books blog has a great series on medieval desks, and describes the above contraption this way: The image from 1588 shows the bookwheel invented by the Renaissance engineer Agostino Ramelli, whose concept was based on medieval [Read More...]

Piercing the Unicorn

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Now here’s as elegant a visual metaphor for the loss of virginity as you could want. The unicorn (a symbol of virginity) is resting on the maiden’s lap. The knight has pierced it with his spear (of obvious symbolism, as is the horn of the unicorn). Blood flows from the wound (also of obvious symbolism) [Read More...]

St. Swithun: Weather Man

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Happy St. Swithun’s Day! Is it raining today? Then according to old British lore, it will rain for the next 40 days. We know this is true because a poem says so: St. Swithun’s day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain, St. Swithun’s day if thou be fair, For forty days [Read More...]


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