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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
I am throwing an ignorant spanner in the works -
 
Why do we think that "glass" = "mirror" ?
 
Is this what the original Greek word means ? The Latin ??
 
Because "glass" equals "window pane" would make much more sense in the context of Corinthians.
 
During the Roman period, mirrors were made of metal - sure.
 
But window-panes were made of glass. I know, I have scrubbed them and tried to fit the shards together on a Romano-British site. This window glass was pearly and not clearly transparent like modern glass, although this might have been the effect of having been buried in the ground for 2,000 years or thereabouts. But such a window pane would let in light, and it would be possible to see indistinctly through it, colours, shapes and outlines, but not a face clearly. The windows were also quite small and the glass was held in place by comparatively large metal spikes. Thus a window pane had a barrier feel about it.
 
This would make a much better metaphor.
 
As far as I know, glass, silver-backed mirrors did not come in until the Renaissance. But the metal sort must have been in circulation among the poorer classes for long after the rich had glass ones - glass breaks. Metal doesn't.
 
Can anyone give the state of technical development at the time Coverdale, Tyndale et al were translating the NT ?
 
Brenda M.C.
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