The Romanesque symbolism of permanence

A poem of living stones. In their form, the Romanesque symbols are akin to clay pots. They contain, however, living water, the mystery of the Holy Grail. Carriers of ancient wisdom, they reveal the true Knowledge that prevents human death and radiate everlasting youth. In the 12th century, raw, virgin stone is deemed androgynous, whichContinue reading “The Romanesque symbolism of permanence”

Between mysticism and splendour

The Mont Saint Michel has almost become a commonplace landmark in France. However, just as Marie-Madeleine Davy was writing in her book “Initiation to the Romanesque symbolism”, the spiritual man approaches (medieval) art in a soaring campaign that conquers symbols and allegories. The Mount reveals its numinous edge and once it has been seen, itContinue reading “Between mysticism and splendour”

To the heart of France: part two

Do the French speak English? I was talking Romanian with my family at this restaurant in Amboise when the waiter comes and proposes us a menu for Anglo-Saxons. “We are not English”, I answer. “Oh, I thought you spoke English there”, he retorted. Good evidence of how well the French are acquainted with English. Chinon,Continue reading “To the heart of France: part two”

To the heart of France, still looking for the lost history: part one

Timber-frame street The wealth of the city of Troyes. These might have belonged to the local Jews The Château of Chambord as King Francis I must have seen it when coming on a royal tour (with no tourists) Château de Chambord, soaring tower Organic vision Equestrian display at Château de Chambord Château de Chaumont onContinue reading “To the heart of France, still looking for the lost history: part one”

In search of history: sniffing England’s heritage

Some thoughts and things I jotted down while driving from Boston (the one in England) to Bury St. Edmunds last week, where the famous priory lay centuries ago.  Early in the morning I drove to Peterborough cathedral and attended Holy Communion there. There were so many people there, I felt uplifted. The Norman interior ofContinue reading “In search of history: sniffing England’s heritage”

The Normans conquer the BBC, late AD 2010

Now this is fantastic news for me and everyone else with an interest (or more) in Norman history. BBC has announced that it is going to broadcast a TV series documentary focusing on the Normans under the guidance of Professor Robert Bartlett, one of the most eminent scholars specialising in the Norman and Angevin period,Continue reading “The Normans conquer the BBC, late AD 2010”

What in nomine regis is going on with this palaeography business?

Late last week I enrolled in this palaeography and medieval latin programme with Keele University and for the last four days I've been sweating like a scrivener in his dusty scriptorium. Only the classroom at Keele is not at all dusty and with all the rain pouring down every day, sweating only comes from workingContinue reading “What in nomine regis is going on with this palaeography business?”

The Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)

I have corrected and edited the text in the Medieval Sourcebook and conveniently posted it below. I have also included the introductory notice: The Constitutions of Clarendon, as White and Notestein have said, are so well-known to need much of an introduction. Representative of the initial stages of the epic battle between Henry II andContinue reading “The Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)”