The momentous Staffordshire find is stirring up much excitement worldwide. It is fascinating to read how there have been no feminine articles or domestic items recovered, and that previously dicovered Anglo Saxon hoards,such as the renowned Sutton Hoo ship burial for instance,include large amounts of cultural material meant to be worn or used by women. Staffordshire's, so far, appears to be exclusively related to masculine trophies and war gear, making it a particularly telling discovery in its own right, and sending historians' and archaeologists',(who are expecting to glean fountains of information from the mysterious objects), heads spinning. Precious knowledge will be forthcoming, they say, about a murderous, trans-formative time of which very little is known for certain. To see the exquisite line of the small,engraved handwriting with its "misspelled" letters is very moving somehow, more so even than the delicately wrought cloisonne pieces,and perhaps even more a sign of the elite status of its wearer (in an era when there was probably not much writing being worn, much less read, by the common person), and the folded cross, (although who will ever know why, or for whatever reason it was folded?), seems to evoke such violence.
Anyway the whole thing has got me looking up every Anglo Saxon manuscript image I can find on Wikipedia.
(Above are some examples of Anglo Saxon script circa 7th to 8th century)
"The inscription, misspelled in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers and reads: "Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua," or "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed." (from cnn.com 9/24/09)
This is really big! Experts are completely bowled over at the superb quality of the metal work in the 1500 objects recovered. Possibly a royal stash buried for safekeeping with the owner or owners planning to return later....
"There once many a man Mood-glad, gold bright, of gleams garnished, Flushed with wine-pride, flashing war-gear, Gazed on wrought gemstones, on gold, on silver, On wealth held and hoarded, on light-filled amber"
from an Anglo Saxon poem quoted by Kenneth Clark in Civilisation Episode 1 The Skin of Our Teeth
45th International Congress on Medieval Studies Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 13–16, 2010
The Sacred Places of Medieval Monasticism Organizers: Kristine Kess, University of Chicago; Cristina Stancioiu, UCLA
"Monasticism played an important role in the Middle Ages, interacting with and shaping social and political structures, as well as peoples’ religious life. This panel focuses on the sacred places of medieval monasticism. Individual holy men and communities often located themselves in opposition to the urban population, withdrawing to the desert or mountainous terrain. For example, the “holy mountain” is a persistent notion accompanying both eremitic and cenobitic practices in Byzantium, from Sinai and the Wondrous Mountain of Symeon Stylites the Younger, first settled in the 4th and 5th centuries, to the foundation of Meteora in the 14th century. In the West, along with removal to wilderness places, islands and anchor holds likewise provide important sites for asceticism. Our goal is to bring together papers from a variety of disciplines, in order to question the construction and representation of specific landscapes in relation to monastic life in both Byzantium and the Medieval West. These can include interior as well as exterior spaces. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: the archaeology of specific sites; textual/rhetorical construction of place; artistic patronage and representation of monasteries and their surrounding landscapes;depictions of monastic life; solitary vs. communal spaces; pilgrimage art; saint’s lives; the construction of place in monastic rules,foundation documents and typika; spiritualized landscapes and/or devotional practices".
"The Newberry Library is seeking papers for it's 30th Annual Grad Conference. We invite abstracts for 15-20 minute papers from master's or Ph.D. students on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies. Please submit a curriculum vitae and an abstract of up to 300 words to email@example.com".
The Danish swans are happening now in the new movie adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Six Swans. De Vilde Svaner trailer is being featured at Heidi Anne Heiner's Sur la Lune Fairy Tales Blog today (9/14/09) The film makes me think of the illustrations of Kay Neilsen as well as those of Adrienne Segur. Sur la Lune is also reporting on the extraordinary fairy tale performances of Japanese artist Miwa Yinagi.
Treasured and long protected magnificent items of an ancient visual cultural production, many of which have never been seen outside of Vietnam, their land of origin, will be shown in the United States this fall at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and in 2010 at the Asia Society in New York.
According to Douglas Britt of the Houston Chronicle(9/13/2009) there will be four special exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts. One exhibition in particular, The Archaeology of Fu Nan in the Mekong River Delta, will feature precious objects recovered from an area that was once a flourishing early medievaltrade route between the Roman, Chinese and Indian empires.
It's cool to find out from reading the fine article (linked above) that the Limbourg brothers were teen-aged when they painted the most beautiful Book of Hours for Jean, Duke of Berry.
Considering general life expectancy was only about 35 or so,it makes sense, since theirs was a culture peopled almost exclusively by the very young, with no apprehension at all of a carefree period of life called "childhood".(Surviving infancy was key and the greatest hurdle, with each year gained past five giving one a better chance of making it to ripe old age). Still, it is astonishing, especially when taking in the self- assured formal grace and bold narrative invention of the Brothers exquisite, panoramic imagery.
The Met's exhibit of the TresRichesHeures, with its leaves unbound and on display individually, opens next March.