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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  September 2004

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION September 2004

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Subject:

Re: saints of the day 30. August

From:

Christopher Crockett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 Sep 2004 14:03:28 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Rochelle Altman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> My favorite illustrations in the OE Illustrated Hexateuch are of the
dragon-boat Noah's ark. Then you have seen the Moses with horned
Viking cap seated on his "Michaelangelo" throne..


yes, i've got those, somewhere.  i stopped the scanning project because i
realised that keeping track of such an immense number of .jpgs was getting
quite out of hand and i needed to develop some sort of "system" before going
on.


i'm constantly amazed at the stuff that is in there.

here's a double volute motif which looks like it is straight off an archaic
Greek pot:

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/mss/hexateuch/bands/f38v-bands.jpg

(we'll see whether that url works --if not, go here

http://www.christophersbookroom.com/cc/mss/hexateuch/bands/

and then find the f38v-bands.jpg  file.)

> We have a slight misunderstanding here. The OE Hexateuch contains AElfric's
explanatory letter and his translation of Genesis through
the binding of  Isaac -- from there through the other 4 books of  the
pentateuih and Joshua the texts are from an earlier, existing translation
into OE.

> The Genesis in the Junius MS is one of the great poetic codices and an MS
that may very well turn out to be a collection of plays. This poem/play is
called Genesis A. The Old Saxon version (not OE,
Old Saxon) is called Genesis B. 


yes, i see now.

perversely, i have no interest in the actual content of the OEH text --not
even in most of the iconography, as such.

my interest is purely stylistic --i'm trying to establish connections between
this very curious style from (apparently) the second quarter of the 11th
century and some mid-12th c. French sculpture, a full century later.

the Working Hypothesis is that the illuminations in the OEH ms are in a style
which had been developing for several generations (before reaching the stage
of Complexity and Clearity as we see it there), back into the last decades of
the 10th c.

i like the idea (especially because it appears to be my own) that the Vector
by which the style came to France was in the form of Abbot Abbo of Fleury, and
that from Fleury it spread to some other places --mostly connected to Fleury--
in France.

> Throughly modern resonances? History does not repeat itself; 

didn't mean to imply that it did.

would make Life so much more Boring, were it true.

on the contrary, God, in Her infinite Wisdom, has decreed Variety as the State
of Things.

>historic patterns repeat -- and this one is deja vu all over again. 

which one, the Julius Caesar/Elisabethan/McCarthy/Duhbya I motif?

yeah, deja vu and a Drag to watch, as well.

>Just think of all the modern commentaries on why there is evil or the
"modern" concept of  natural man is "good" and civilization is "evil" -- as if
these very topics are not the subjects of literary works back at Sumer. 


hey, History *Began* at Sumer, i heard somewhere.

>Come to think of it, Gilgamesh would make a nifty movie for the lovers of
special effects...


as would some of the stories in the Nag Hammadi mss.

pure Science Fiction, that stuff.

certainly more interesting and imaginative than a whole passel of "Star Wars"
sequences, ho hum.

> I do not put down our modern world, 

go ahead, knock yourself out.

you'll get no arguments about it from me.

>but as historians we should know that we are neither the first nor are we
unique.

well, you may hold that opinion because you do not have the Honor of living in
the Greatest Country in the History of the World.

>What is different is our technology, but that does not change the
patterns.

except, perhaps, that the technology may make all them patterns *Terminal*.

> I wish you very good luck on this project; that MS is delightful... you
might want to include the pre-Rashi Hebrew alphabet that runs across
the bottom of one of the leaves -- the one written by a young lady named
Elizabeth -- who signed her name three times in Hebrew and spelled it
correctly... it's not part of the original illustrations, but it is a
graphic.


i haven't come across that one, yet.

> As an entusiastic fan of the OE Hexateuch, I am delightedly yours,

the mind boggles.

c


"What about the older ones [Indians] ?"

"Well, we can't seem to cure them of the idea that our Everyday Life is only
an Illusion, behind which is the Reality of Dreams" 

--Werner Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo"
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0083946

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