I was looking at the Guthlac roll in the British Library online and I noticed something rather odd. Have you noticed it? The two outer figures are wearing glasses! According to the British Library page for the roll, its dates to c. 1175-1225 and is believed to be prototypes for stained glass windows. This seems a bit early for glasses. The guy on the right has particularly modern looking specs. Come to think of it, the one on the left in addition to the glasses has a rather flamboyant feather in his hat. What do you all think? Are these objects c. 12th century or has someone added these to the roll?
The find of the week was the grave of a medieval abbot of Furness Abbey in Cumbria. Past Horizons has the best write up of the discovery at the abbey, which is just southwest of the Lake District. They have also had good features on reinterpreting the mass grave of Vikings found in Oxford, and possible remnants of the first Anglo-Saxon church at York.
Esmeralda’s Cumbrian Folklore and History brings us a picture of Cumbria’s oldest cat from St Cuthbert’s church, Penrith.
Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe reviews James Fraser’s From Caledonia to Pictland (and hits the nail right on the head), his digital work, on Alex Woolf’s vision of early medieval Scotland, and writes about Anglo-Saxon moneyers (or lack of them) and coin distribution.
Curt Emanual, the Medieval History Geek, takes up the defense of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus this week.
Magistra et Mater writes about the complicated history of Justinian’s code and its use in later Italy.
Nicola Griffith of Gemæcca writes about her vision of York and its church during King Edwin’s time.
Historian Sally Wilde has a new blog to write about her crime novel project on the murder of Hereric, father of St Hild. She has several posts up in the last week.
Geoffrey Chaucer hath a Blog and he also hath a new post up.
Mak Wilson of Badonicus posts about his plans for his Arthurian project.
Viqueen of Norse and Viking Ramblings writes about a fieldtrip to the Isle of Man to study runes.
From the Professor Awesome’s Unlocked Wordhoard: The Battle of Maldon
The news of the last week or so has certainly been the announcement of the discovery of the 7th century Anglo-Saxon “Trumpington Princess” and the blogs have been all over it. Here is a mini round-up of the coverage:
- I think I may have been the first blog on the story (based on the earliest news reports) here
- Antiquarian’s Attic was also fast off the block with her story.
- Nicola Griffith of Gemæcca has a post on Hild and the princess.
- Past Horizons has a nice, complete post on the discovery.
- Anthropologist Rosemary Joyce of Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives writes about nuns and princesses with a different focus on the finds at Trumpington.
- Katy Meyers of Bones Don’t Lie writes about Anglo-Saxon bed burials.
I also posted a presentation I did a couple years ago on St Æthelthryth and the Virgin Mary.
Tim Clarkson wrote about Govan and the kings of Strathcldye on his new blog Heart of the Kingdom. Tim writes about his visit to the Anglo-Saxon monastery of Dacre in Cumbria and its stonework on his blog Senchus.
Karen Jolly of Revealing Words explores the early medieval history of Workington in Cumbria.
Esmeralda’s Cumbrian History and Folklore writes about Loki the Trickster and the Norse who brought him to Cumbria.
Bamburgh Research Project updates us on the analysis of their gold fragment from last year’s excavation. The photo of Dr Whitfield with the fragment really puts its size in perspective.
I don’t usually cover pre-Roman Celtic society but there have been a couple interesting posts in the last few weeks. Past Horizons has a post on the virtual reconstruction of the Celtic village of the Remi in pre-Roman Gaul. Katy Meyers of Bones Don’t Lie examines the diet and health of the Britons of Dorset during the late Iron Age and early Roman periods.
Moving on from Roman Britain, we have the Arthurian bloggers. Clas Merdin has an interesting post discussing the legends behind the standing stones named after the Sons of Arthur. Yes, its only in the post-Geoffrey world of Romance that Arthur is childless. Clas Merdin also has a second post teasing out the 40 tasks of Culhwch in the oldest Arthurian tale, How Culhwch won Olwen.
Mak Wilson of Badonicus continues his series exploring Arthurian lore with part IV on Arthur the Giant or Giant Slayer, part V on Arthur the Soldier, and part VI on the three types of Arthur in British lore – the giant, the superhero, and the soldier. Mak had an explosion of posts taking this series up to part 12! Just keep following the next post from the above links.
This time we have a little Beowulf to counterbalance Arthur. Michael Drout of Wormtalk and Slugspeak asks if Grendel can speak, how does he curse their weapons? I didn’t know there was a ‘current monster theory’… I learn something new all the time. In a second post, he muses some on the size and shape of the dragon in Beowulf.
Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of the Tenth Century has returned to his blog with a review of the Treasures of Heaven exhibit at the British Museum, and on an unfortunately misnamed boundary tree, and a couple more seminars written up.
Guy Halsall of Historian on the Edge writes about the historical assumptions expressed in a 19th century painting of Late Antiquity.
Carl Pyrdum of Got Medieval brings us Cake month to replace pi day.
Whew! and that’s it for this round-up.