Color-by-numbers chalkboard with jousters. #jousting #medieval
Ophelia by Joseph Kirkpatrick
Obit of the Day (Historical): St. Valentine (270)
St. Valentine has become the missing element of the day that honors his name. Then again much of what we know about him is sketchy at best. According to tradition, in AD 270 a priest named Valentine, who may have also been a physician, was beheaded by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. A church was built in Valentine’s honor and in 496 Pope Gelasius named February 14, St. Valentine’s Day.
The love imagery surrounding the day is not directly related to the saints works but likely came from Lupercalia, a Roman festival in February that not only honored wolves (lup-, lupus) but involved a tradition of maidens putting love notes in a box that young men would then draw out at random and begin courting.
(Image of the martyrdom of St. Valentine from Speculum historiale, French (Paris), ca. 1335, Bibliotheque national de France, MS Arsenal 5080, fol. 197 courtesy of Ad Imagenem Dei)
An alternative view of the apse from San Juan de Rabanera
Location: Soria, Spain
c. 12th century
Photo taken December 23, 2012 by Sergio Mas
The Codex Gigas was once considered the eighth wonder of the world; the book is three feet long and weighs a hundred and sixty-five pounds. It has 600 pages which, contrary to legend, are made from calf skins, not donkey skins.
The Codex Gigas includes a combination of texts found nowhere else. In addition to the full text of the Latin bible, the book contains herbals, history books, cures for dangerous illnesses, texts caring for the soul, medical formulas for treating illnesses and diseases, conjurations, and even solutions to problems such as finding a thief.
The book got the nickname of The Devil’s Bible because it is the only bible to include such a large portrait of the devil. Half-clothed in royal ermine; half man, half beast; with claws, cloven hooves, and a huge serpentine red tongue, the drawing shows Satan walled up in a cell alone rather than loosed in Hell. Immediately across from the devil is a portrait of the Kingdom of Heaven, creating an interesting contrast [see here].
According to the Kungl Biblioteket, legend had it that the book was written by a monk condemned to be walled up alive. To spare his life, he promised his bishop that he would create the most wonderful book the world had ever seen, including the text of the Bible and the sum of all human knowledge up to that point in time – and he would do it in one night.
In order to accomplish this impossible task, he sold his soul to the devil. The legend is actually based on a misinterpretation of the word “inclusus” as the punishment of being walled up alive, but which actually refers to a monk choosing to live in a solitary cell away from the others.
Despite the legend involving the devil, in the time of the inquisition, this codex was kept by the monastery and studied by many scholars to this day.
Here is the font and keyboard layout! (Unfortunately I can’t currently make a Windows keyboard layout, so someone will have to create one and give it to me so I can include it in the ZIP). I have also included the (Icelandic and Scandinavian) references I used to make it. You can even embed the font into your website (or tumblr layout?), so anyone who goes there even if they don’t have it installed, will see the runes.
My wife requested I make a “modern runic alphabet” that you can use with today’s language, so here it is. We ourselves will use it in future projects and websites.
Once you install the keyboard layout you can go to the language/keyboard preferences menu and “equip” it just the same as any other-language keyboard layout.
I “linked” the runes to regular letters instead of the real runic Unicode numbers (which would have shown up as boxes if you didn’t have the runic characters installed) because I already experienced a time where I logged out of my computer and logged back in and the Modern Runic layout was on. If they hadn’t been linked to regular keys, I wouldn’t have been able to type in my password and I would have been stuck. Also keyboard shortcuts wouldn’t work. However, the argument has been made that if someone sees boxes they will much more likely install the font, whereas if they see like above they won’t bother unless they are specifically interested in runes. Feel free to make the same keyboard layout that mostly links to the Unicode runes, then I will include that with these files also if you give it to me.
The Icelandic bit should read: “Og þetta er íslenska og bókstafurinn ú. Komdu sæl/l.”
I guess you could use þérun and say “komið þér sælir/sælar” but that sounds old and outdated.
The British Library digitised manuscripts blog posted this snippet from Chroniques de France ou St Denis, France (Paris), last quarter of the 14th century, after 1380, Royal MS 20 C. vii, f. 134r. Autograph of Richard III as Duke of Gloucester (before 1483, obviously). Who can resist marking their stuff?