Jan. 23rd, 2012

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Today I went from worked slates to glass, which meant rummaging around through endless bits of 1960s beer and milk bottles in search of the odd fragment of interesting window glass.  Is it medieval?  I have my doubts, but everyone else likes to think so...

I also finished off the Illiad, and thoroughly enjoyed it, though some bits went on a bit, in particular the big long genealogy section and the funeral games held in honour of Patroclus.  Couldn't help feeling sorry for the twelve Trojan lads that Achilles slaughtered in honour of his best mate/boyfriend/attendant (however you want to describe him...), but Achilles wasn't exactly one for half measures, was he? 

I shall now have a brief respite while I read another Jinny book (#2, A Devil To Ride...) and then it's straight on to the Chronicles of Melrose and the Chronicles of Holyrood, which are, as you might expect, translations of histories written by medieval monastic authors residing at these two respective institutions. 

I've already come across a reference, on page 2, to the bishop of Lincoln, who in 1136 was evidently captured in battle and kept as a hostage by King Stephen.  A quick cross-reference with my guide book to the cathedral: Lincoln Cathedral: The Story so Far, reveals that this bishop was Alexander the Magnificent, and evidently the 'beautifully intricate carving around the main doors' is thought to have been commissioned by him.

What a co-incidence!  Because I'd planned tonight to feature details from this very part of the cathedral!!

So without further ado, let me introduce first of all a rather grisly scene featuring a series of figures which seem to be suffering torments in Hell:-




Unfortunately, I cannot recollect how the two photographs relate to one another.  The carving on the left of the photograph shown below is very similar, in that it appears to show an archer shooting an arrow towards the bahookie of the nude figure above (ouch!)  But the beautiful carved beasties to the side are quite unlike the decorations shown above, which seem to be animal heads.





Does it really matter?  They're wonderful carvings (I'm not sure whether there's been a bit of restoration, or whether the stone's unusually robust) and from the looks of them, it looks like Alexander the Magnificent was well named.  Now imagine what they would have looked like in glorious technicolour!! 

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