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To All,

Being blissfully ignorant of the niceties and protocol regarding 
cross-posting, I herewith do it anyway.  I'm not really sure how much 
subscriber overlap there is between the celtic-L and med -rel lists, hence:

Yesterday, I was showing my neighbor (a retired doctor) some prints of pics I 
had taken on my last Irish trip this past September.  I showed him one which 
was a closeup of figure-carving high up on the east window of Kilfenora 
Cathedral, Co. Clare, which showed a group of "dwarf clerics" (see p.6, 
Cunningham's "Burren Journey West" booklet, for a similar - but, of course, 
inferior photo of the same carvings).  His first response upon seeing it was 
"a fine example of priapism".  I looked at it again, and, sure enough.  How 
could I have missed it?

A few pictures earlier, I had been showing him the sheela-na-gig (various 
spellings allowed - "sheila" seems too Australian) over the doorway at 
Killinaboy, also Clare.  I got to wondering if the priapismic clerics were 
considered, at the time, as a male equivalent of the sheela, i.e., a 
fertility symbol?  Are there other, similar carvings of clerics "exposing 
themselves" in other stonework of the period?  I can see that I have many 
hundreds of prints to re-examine now.

Any and all comments gratefully accepted.

Pete Schermerhorn, in the glorious Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts


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