St. Augustine’s Ghost Story

The Devil and St Augustine Carlisle Cathedral

St. Augustine was the first Church Father to consider at length stories of ghostly apparitions that appeared in various strands of hagiography, legend, scripture, and eyewitness testimony. It’s not truly a “theology of ghosts,” but it’s a more developed consideration of the subject that anyone else, even Tertullian, had attempted, or indeed would attempt for centuries. Augustine [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...]

Christ the Apothecary

Christ-Apothecary-1

There is a minor tradition in art of depicting Christ as the Divine Pharmacist, an Apothecary of the Soul, mixing and compounding the medicine for mankind. In this illumination from a 16th century manuscript, He is shown writing out the prescription to treat original sin. There’s no word on whether Adam and Eve had a co-pay. [Read more...]

Satan is Just a Little Blond Girl in Pigtails Handing Out Fruit

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The Temptation is much easier to understand when you look at it this way: Although, yeah: the snake body thing should have been a dead giveaway. Think about it, though: we have nasty visual images of Satan in our mind because artists need to convey evil visually, but Paul tells us that Satan himself masquerades as [Read More...]

St. Swithun: Weather Man

swithun

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...]

How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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H/T Boydell & Brewer For those who don’t get #5.  [Read more...]

Incredibly Beautiful: The Prayer Book of Claude de France

claude

The Morgan Library has put up a digital facsimile of this tiny prayer book, along with an excellent illustrated lecture on its significance. The book is a companion to the Book of Hours, and is less than 3″x2.5″  in size with dazzling illuminations.  The Morgan describes this recent aquisition as a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that [Read More...]

A Monk and a Nun in the Stocks

monkandnun

He’s just grateful his name isn’t Abelard.   [Read more...]


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