Diagram from the German Arundel 501 f. 26v to determine feast days and the moon’s age. Tonight there is a full moon. But if you, as your persona, lived after 1100 you probably considered the moon to be a planet. If you thought about its movements at all you thought it revolved around the Earth in a perfect circle. Just like Mercury, Jupiter and even the Sun […]
I detest winter. Not just the cold, but also the dark. I live like a mole until March. But with 24-hour supermarkets and drive through fast-food I survive until the sun returns. Do you have the same aversion? With all the modern conveniences it’s easy to forget the once great effort it took to survive winter. Preserving autumn’s harvest and fully stocking larders for the long nights and short days. What did our medieval forebears do to survive their barren, cold days? One way you can see their wintry concerns and activities are through Breviarys, Books of Hours and Psalters‘ calendar pages. Medieval manuscripts’ calendars served multiple purposes. They kept track of the date. They told you what the relevant zodiac sign was and which days were Church feasts and holidays. And since most were decorated with seasonal ‘labor of the month’ pictures you can see what people did then. Their daily life. My daily life this winter, after Lonely Tower’s coming 12th Night Event, will be to head south for a time. To break the dark, cold monotony and learn something new. What do you do to survive winter? What would your SCA persona do? Related prior Posts: Searching for Easter Week in Illuminated Manuscripts Related External Sites: British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts’ blog posts on calendar pages. My favorite. National Library of Sweden’s detailed discussion on calendars. Googling medieval calendars images. This often gets more than you expect.