Putting Medievalists

This happened Friday evening. My friends and I dressed in “garb” and met at Medieval Putt in Elkhorn to bobble our way through 18 holes.   I’m not great at this. In fact, I’m ghastly. Then throw in riding a mini zip line all I could do was have fun. And I did. So much I missed the best pictures swinging a […]

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Cat Love

Llull’s Llibre de meravelles (BNF Fr. 189, fol. 283),   second half of the 15th-century You have my new cat Luna to thank for this blog post. I’m lounging with my tablet because she wants a nap. But this Luna-break gave me a reason to look up medieval pet cats. And so I came across a ninth-century poem about a monk’s white cat named Pangur Ban.  While the poem was written by an Irish monk it was found in a monastery near today’s Austria on Reichenau Island. In the poem, the monk compares his search for knowledge to the cat’s hunt for mice and the pleasure both get from their efforts. In the poem translated by Robin Flower the monk shows the fondness he had for his cat. He named it and called his pet a “he” not an “it.” So in peace our tasks we ply, Pangur Bán, my cat, and I; In our arts we find our bliss, I have mine and he has his. That is a person who adores his cat. “Pangur Ban” is a delightful poem relevant to us in the SCA today when you take joy in hunting for history’s knowledge. Aren’t you elated when you snare an elusive information tidbit? Don’t you want to show it off as a cat displays a trophy-mouse to its owner?  Related Prior Post:  Searching For Illumination Manuscript Humor  SCA Award Texts External Related Links: Cats as Pets in the Middle Ages Larsdatter on […]

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Searching For Illumination Manuscript Humor

While waiting to leave for an appointment the other day I decided to see what funny and weird illuminated manuscript stuff I could find with Google. This is a fun time suck that must be used sparingly or it will make me late to my appointment. British Library’s Harley 7026  f. 16  These handmade devotional books often had margins filled with tiny pictures called “marginalia.” While not all were weird many had pictures of bawdy whimsy, fanciful animals, political satire and even sexually explicit jokes. Seen through our modern eyes they appear outlandish because we’re not used to seeing lurid detail displayed in holy books, especially from a distant time we think was conservative and proper. Immediately I hit paydirt with three posts on io9.Gizmodo a popular weblog.  Bizarre and vulgar illustrations from illuminated medieval manuscripts by Vincze Miklós General medieval weirdness mostly. Why do knights fight snails in illuminated manuscripts? by Lauren Davis With this writing, I found an interesting link to the British Library’s manuscript blog post Knight v. Snail Are these the dirtiest manuscript doodles of the Middle Ages? by Cyriaque Lamar  Those led me to this Spanish post. There are lots of medieval paintings of knights fighting giant snails and nobody knows why. by Matías S. Zavia Amazingly I thought some of those too odd to include in an SCA scroll. While I still had time I returned to my google search and clicked on these. Naughty Nuns, Flatulent Monks, and Other Surprises of Sacred Medieval […]

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10 Murphy’s Laws for Scribes

Nothing to go wrong here. Murphy’s law is a popular adage commonly stating “whatever can go wrong, will …” Variants and corollaries exist for assorted skills and daily activities.  Over the years from experience I’ve developed my own Murphy’s laws for scribes. 1. If you quickly add something to an illumination when you are nicely dressed to go out, you […]

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Retirement Dreams

I’ve been involved with the elderly for most of my life. I was born late in my parents’ life and they both were born late in their parents’ lives. So, many of my Aunts, Uncles and Greats were old, if not Victorian, when I was young.  Then in Junior High, I volunteered weekly in the nursing home where my 90-something Grandfather […]

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