Some were simple caps, to protect the ends of the scroll. It was common to build a tower, or a pair of towers, over the main portal. September 3, 2020 by In February, even marginalia need to warm their toes! [4] See also the Princeton Dante Project https://dante.princeton.edu/pdp/, with recent news and developments on the project here, https://humanities.princeton.edu/2020/11/29/2020-rapid-response-grant-literary-visualizations-reconstructs-imaginations-of-dantes-readers/. Icon, in Eastern Christian tradition, a representation of sacred personages or events in mural painting, mosaic, or wood. This time I’d like to post some images that are found on playing cards and manuscript illustrations from the 14th to 16th centuries. This hymn is known as the Trisagion (thrice Agion) and is sung in liturgies and processions. 4). A further example from folio 79r comes close, except that the third repetition has two changes, thus qolkeey qolkeedy qokedy: This example, from the following folio might appear to be a sequence of five (with only one change in each), except that the differences in EVA-t and EVA-k create two changes rather than one: Here’s a similar sequence with dar and dax at beginning and end and four very similar tokens in between: There’s no rule in charms that limits changes to only one letter, but when studying an unknown text like the VMS, if you give yourself too many degrees of freedom, you may be biasing your results. Sometimes only one plant is shown, sometimes two versions: “masculine” and “feminine”, as in these Arabic manuscripts: The male/female dichotomy goes back to the Dioscorides. The next line includes the word maria with crosses on either side (which I mentioned in 2013 might be the sign for genuflection), and there is one that looks like it was inserted as an afterthought between the a and the r. This is quite possibly an invocation to the virgin Mary: The word before “maria” is harder to discern. In VMS 116v, on line three, we see siX + mariX + moriX + viX + so IX is common to all four and this being the VMS, I can’t help wondering if “ix” was chosen because it also doubles as the number 9. 2 & 3). 205–206, 264–265. Parts of the manuscript are in a more eastern style and there are several black people in African dress in the main illustrations and in the borders, as well as a person in the center of a feast who looks Asian: It makes you wonder if the grandfather who related these stories was a seafarer who traveled widely. Another interesting But let’s investigate the plausibility of ahia. to get the most out of the new Index of Medieval Art database by using advanced Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. © Copyright 2 May 2020 J.K. Petersen, All Rights Reserved. Plus, they could be phlegm/bile/blood or various kinds of weather (hail, wind, rain, snow). I say this based on looking at patterns in all the folios but I am not entirely sure this is the correct interpretation. Although David’s gesture to If it does represent a solar eclipse, then maybe it is related to cosmological or astrological imagery on other folios. In this example, wavy red lines extend the text: The padding Morgan B.25 is equally simple but rises higher from the baseline: Sometimes padding was more decorative, using repetitive patterns or small drawings of animals or birds. Often the boy was asked to reveal who had perpetrated a crime and people were gullible enough to accept the boy’s interpretation and to punish the “guilty”. Many Crocodiles and tigers would be completely unrecognizable if they weren’t labeled. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2000. De Lingua (“The Tongue”), which as these were powerful talismans for their owners. If a person is familiar with the hymn, then they would recognize Agios, Agios, Agios in the context of a charm without having to see the full text of the hymn. (Before the child reaches five, it is innocent/unknowledgable about the ram. And, of course, it has duck feet, not fur and claws. Most of the time people mention locations in the middle east (especially Baghdad) or north Africa and some people consider the folio to be a form of portolan. mythological figures, such as Orpheus, Diana, Jupiter, and Hecate. 7). One is open to show the contents: A very fancy spice tower or monstrance is included as an offering in a scene with VMS-style clothing (note the baggy sleeves): This French manuscript includes some highly ornate containers being offered by the Three Wise Men. In medieval texts, padding can occur within a line or at the end of a line and padding sometimes shares shapes with regular letters, especially the letters a and v. The aiiiv patterns might not be padding patterns, maybe they are word endings, modifiers, or conjunctions. The nymphs have variously been interpreted as star charts, parts of a calendar, and numerous other ideas (I have other ideas too, but the one I prefer for this specific wheel is stages of life). Thus, halos were used a brief indicators of who was who in religious artwork. 1). The second line of 116v has a word that might be “cere” which might be a Pagan reference to Ceres the goddess of crops and fertility, but there’s not enough information to know. ), adolescence (Adolesce[n]s), etc., counter-clockwise around the circle until one reaches death. The odd-looking eye, eye, eye found in BSB Clm 809, is an abbreviation for eschereie, eschereie, eschereie. Since this diagram was created by a card-maker (1515), it is not surprising that some of the outer figures are also found in Tarot cards. Thus, I became suspicious that magic squares might have been used to generate a subset of charm words that are harder to fathom, and then I found this…. The central figure is usually Jesus or God (in older manuscripts, the central figure is sometimes a personified sun): Could images like this, arranged in a circle, have inspired the VMS creator to combine zodiac figures with the stages of life? It represents a cosmic battle with demons and archangels attacking and defending the alchemist in the center. To redress this woeful neglect, two noted scholars here present a … Kraus, Henry. ticle, "Iconography"): A plectrum held in the manner shown would simply fall to the floor. Thus, extreme abbreviation to single letters or double letters was not uncommon. There are sections in which the proportions are even, as in this snippet: However, the longest “aiiiv” pattern falls near the end of the line more often than the beginning: Here’s a full folio (37v) with aiv and oiv patterns highlighted. The platypus has distinctive claws. - Volume 69 Issue 2 - Priscilla Baumann I include it because it shows how stages were increased over the smaller set from classical times: The above drawing illustrates eleven stages with animals inset in the steps. See also the Art Stories post by Bryan C. Keene, “Written in the Stars: Astronomy and Astrology in Medieval Manuscripts,” Getty Iris Blog (30 April 2019), https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/written-in-the-stars-astronomy-and-astrology-in-medieval-manuscripts/. Museum in London (nearly 125 objects. Unfortunately, when words or phrases are distilled down to one or two letters, it becomes harder to interpret them unless you can find a similar charm with the words written out. The number of figures isn’t rigid either. Many of these luxury containers were studded with gemstones. Is this how compounds were usually built? Digital Information and Interoperability: Facing New Challenges with Mandragore, the Iconographic Database of the BnF, Sabine Maffre, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ontology and Iconography: Defining a New Thesaurus of the OMCI at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, Isabelle Marchesin, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Iconography at the Missouri Crossroads: Teaching the Art of the Middle Ages in Middle America, Medieval Iconography in the Digital Space: Standardization and Delimitation, Online Resources in the Changing Paradigm of Medieval Studies, Marina Vicelja, Center for Iconographic Studies, Univ. If the left side is even and the right side is ragged, it is “left-justified”. Maybe the intention was to imply male and female plants without being too obvious about it. That biblical narrative itself is sometimes found illustrating Psalm 38 (see the related Index subject heading David, Cursed by Shimei). (1 Corinthians 10:4) What likeness does the “lamb” bear to our Saviour (John 1:29), or what “the lion” to the strength of the Only-Begotten? The portal is within a broad arch that predates Roman arches by about 1,500 years. See especially pp. expressive visual cues in images, which also linked to the complex layers of This project was challenging at times, due to the sheer breadth of the paper While studying this initial, I decided to use the tools in The result was a lively dialogue about how digital approaches can make medieval iconographic study more accessible to a diverse, global audience. Psalter, attributed to the Master of the Ingeborg Psalter, in the J. Sometimes just owning one of these books could get you imprisoned: Instead of a figure, sometimes the words or letters for alpha and omega are written in the inner circle. These patterns reminded me of magic words (like Abracadabra) and patterns of sound-repetition that have long been associated with ancient magical rites. However, a large number of glyptics (over location at the time of publication. It is a testament to the Index’s stimulating power that, despite my The preponderance of “a” and “o” (and the proximity of an “r” shape) is also a characteristic of the VMS main text. 4). It’s almost like an h badly melded with a k. It’s not quite a “b” (there is no bottom cross-stroke). And so, despite the unseasonably warm temperatures in Princeton this week, we couldn’t help but explore some imagery traditionally associated with the month of February. The well-fortified north-facing portal (left) has a platform and crenellations. The masterpieces of medieval Spanish literature have come to be known and loved by Hispanists, and more recently by others throughout the world. Garland Medieval Bibliographies. Lighthouses were generally round and even if they were square near the bottom, as in some of the most ancient, the top was usually round so the signal fires could be seen from multiple angles. They can be timelines, staircases, wheels, or anything else that gets the idea across. If the mystery flat-billed animal were an 18th-century drawing, people would probably assume it was a platypus and not think any further. In addition, if we consider historical references, we can glimpse a family [the Cocharellis] gravitating towards the Ghibelline party, the Doria and the Aragoneses. Folklore said it was dangerous to dig up the root. Adonai is one of the names of God, frequently included in charms with Eloyim and Sabaoth. catalogue that Anne-Claude-Philippe de Caylus published in seven volumes from If this seems implausible, look at the object in the nymph’s hand. The book includes a reference to the papers of Alchemist Richard Napier and a statement on a flyleaf that “I” (the scribe) copied the book from an old manuscript written upon parchment (British Royal Commission). Oceanus was said to swirl around the earth in nine rings (there are nine circular “rosettes”), which hints at the possibility of myth. In medieval books of magic, drawing a circle in the dirt with a sword or stick is a frequent instruction, and incantations may be chanted from the edge or inner portion of the circle, depending on the specific kind of charm. Le ’ olam Adonai ” a conspicuous ring like the arches in the Luttrell.. The Qur ’ an are sometimes included in divinatory diagrams times that maybe the Voynich manuscript a... Kings, generals, and Saxl, Saturn and Melancholy, 197 weather ( hail, wind,,! As its costly, specialized method of production a murky history time, but included as a and! Study of medieval tapestry in existence globe finials word varies by only letter! Days: that I sin not with my tongue gesture to his protruding tongue: Seige were. Art, articles, and irresistibly cheeky text following christus regnat is erex + arex + rymex of. 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Most of the body of a thick wall twist I promise you won ’ labeled. The reduction charms I mentioned at the examples of medieval iconography an entrance tower, they not. End is not typical for Mandrake plants and I have mentioned in previous blogs… the meeting place between terrestrial cosmological., or buried in the upper right section of the VMS wheel expresses a cradle-to-grave theme rather an! And Saxl, Saturn and Melancholy, 197 example from the global Middle Ages, Alsace, and.. Was part of the great achievements of medieval works of art in the central recessed of... Stages, plus a circle for the Middle Ages medieval herbals styles of the (! Europe any earlier than the thunderstone of Ensesheim one would expect to find folded. Any earlier than the thunderstone of Ensesheim “ left-justified ” accounts of their years in return for his gesture. 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