Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Week's News to 3/1

Muslim Women as Mullahs

Medieval Burial Ground Unearthed

Saxon, Roman, and Iron Age finds

If you're in the neighborhood of the British Museum: The Origins of the
Thursday 8 March, 18.30
Stephen Oppenheimer, historian and
geneticist, talks about his new book,
The Origins of the British:
A Genetic Detective Story.
£5, concessions £3

More Here

Medieval Skeletons

Kilve, Somerset holds fair for church


Review of the TV Program: The Dark Ages

Another Review of THC's much vaunted and advertised "The Dark Ages"


1417 Paul II, Roman Catholic pope (1464-71)
1440 Mathias I, King of Hungary

1011 St. Willigis
1072 St. Peter Damian
1370 David II, King of Scotland
1447 Pope Eugenius IV
1447 Humphrey Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester

155 Martyrdom of St. Polycarp of Smyrna
303 Emperor Diocletian orders general persecution of Christians
532 Justinian begins work on the Hagia Sophia
553 Pope Vigilius ratifies verdicts of Council of Constantinople
687 Pepin of Heristal arrives in France
1040 Consecration of the abbey-church at Le Bec, France
1245 John of Plato Carpini connects with the Mongols
1305 A sermon preached in Italy mentioned eye-glasses
1421 Coronation of Catherine, Queen to Henry V of England
1440 Execution of Gilles de Raiz
1455 Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book, the Bible (approximate date)


1304 Muhammad ibn Battutah, Moroccan Arab traveler, travel writer
1463 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian scholar, Platonist

303 Publication of the first Roman edict for the persecution of Christians
1208 St. Francis's vocation is revealed to him (probable date)
1303 English invasion of Scotland halted)
1389 Capture of Albert of Mecklenberg, King of Sweden
1429 Joan of Arc arrives at Chinon
1446 Drawing of the earliest known Lottery, in Bruges, Belgium
1450 End of the Ambrosian Republic (2nd Commune) of Florence


616 St. Ethelbert, King of Kent
779 St. Walburga

493 Negotiations open between the Roman Army, besieged at Ravenna, and
the Ostrogoths
1450 Surrender of Florence to Francesco Sforza
1451 Pope Nicholas V bans all social intercourse between Christians & Jews


1361 King Wenceslaus

1161 Roger II, King of Sicily
1266 Manfred, King of Sicily

364 Valentinian becomes Emperor of Rome at Nicaea
493 Surrender of the Roman Army at Ravenna to the Ostrogoths
1147 Crusaders massacre the Jews of Wurzburg


288 Constantine

425 Theodosius II, Emperor of Byzantium, founds a University
493 End of the Siege of Ravenna
1458 George of Podebrad chosen King of Bohemia


1468 Pope Paul III

922 St. Oswald of Worchester
1212 Honen

591 Gregory I becomes Pope
1066 Westminster Abbey opens
1258 Tatars burn Baghdad
1476 Besieged Grandson, Switzerland, surrenders to the French
1482 Marquis Rodrigo Ponce de Leon of Cadiz raids Alhama, Granada


1389 St. Antonius

492 St. Felix
601 St. David of Wales (approx. year)
1383 Amadeus VI, the "Green Count" of Savoy

499 Symmachus, Boethius' father in law, holds synod in Rome on
707 John VII elected p
1244 Fall of Montsegur (Albigensian Crusade)
1260 Mongols under Kitbuqa take Damascus
1360 Chaucer ransomed from the French
1382 Maillotin Rising, Paris (Peasant Revolt)
1383 Charles IV, King of France, subdues Paris
1410 Burning of John Badby, tailor, for heresy and a total Solar Eclipse
1469 William Caxton begins to translate "Receuil of the Histories of
Troy" from the French, to become the first book printed in English

Words of the Week:
tuition-that word that every English speaking college student and parent thereof dreads to hear or read. It comes into English from Anglo-French Norman tuycioun, from Old French tuicion, from Latin tuitio, meaning guardianship, guard, a noun from Latin tueri, to guard, protect, look after. It first appears in the late 13th century in the sense of guardianship, care, custody. By the 15th century it can refer to the position, rather than the state of, of being a protector or guardian. In the late 16th, from this meaning it refers then to the position of being a teacher, a tutor. But it isn't until the nineteenth century that it begins to refer to the fee paid to someone for protection or tutoring.

rechabite-an appropriate word for Ash Wednesday, even if I'm a bit late on that. It comes from the Bible, the Rekabim mentioned in the book of Jeremiah (and later apocrypha too). They refused to drink wine or live in houses. Late medieval use of the word beginning with Wycliffe generally refers to the Biblical material, but in the early modern period there comes Rechabitism, generally referring the practices of the Rechabites, and sometimes specifically to the teetotalism. The Independent Order of Rechabites was a charitiable society founded in the 1830s.

harrow-one of my favorite old English words, in part because it comes from Tolkien and in part because it is used in Beowulf and of course the Harrowing of Hell. It comes from the Old English word herigean, the past participle of which gives us hergod, and a verbal noun hergung. In Middle English these became herwede, herwyng. The =er= of course becomes =ar= in the vowel shift. It is related to the verb harry. Both come from a Proto-Germanic word *kharohan (v.), from *kharjaz "an armed force" and so are related to O.E. here (an army, force), O.N. herr, O.H.G. har, Ger. Heer "host, army"), from PIE root *koro- "war" (cf. Lith. karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" O.C.S. kara "strife;" M.Ir. cuire "troop;" O.Pers. kara "host, people, army;" Gk. koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). The noun "harrier" comes from "harrow" as well, and so the British military jet "harrier" is a Harrower, one who harrows. It is not related to the verb/noun "harrow" in most place names, indicating a farm implement.

wight-another good ol' fashioned Old English word, wiht, meaning a living being. And so it remains and became eventually an obsolete word until again Tolkien revived it with the Barrow wights, and so now when used it often seems to have a ghostly/preternatural reference.

Medieval TV:

The History Channel:
On March 3 the History of Sex will focus on Medieval Sex
March 4 will air The Plague
March 4 will also reair The Dark Ages. Ugh.

Quote of the Week:
Man thinks, God directs.
(Homo cogitat, Deus indicat.) Alcuin

Site of the Week:

The Book of Carmarthen

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