Brass tomb effigies of William Bagot and wife Margaret, St. John the Baptist, Baginton, Warwickshire, 1407
Found this on Twitter, thought I’d share because this is my new favorite Latin joke (yeah I have favorite Latin jokes deal with it)
plants and creatures from zakariya al-qazwini’s cosmography “marvels of creatures and the strange things existing”.
(Source: , via mirousworlds)
Robert May (1588?-1664) was one of very few cooks in England who received extensive training in English and French training (and even some Spanish and Italian). May was the son of Edward May the cook for the Dormers of Ascott Park, a wealthy Catholic family. “W.W.,” May’s biographer, believed that it was the Dormers’ and his father’s influence that led to May studying cookery in France for five years. After his training, May worked with his father and cooked for the Dormers. He was chef to a numer of other Catholic families within the Dormers’ social circle as well.
May’s biography prefaces his book, The accomplisht cook, or, The art & mystery of cookery. May included incredibly detailed descriptions on how to prepare flesh, fowl, fish, or any other manner of à-la-mode curiosities. The book includes small woodcuts throughout, but the most exciting features are the fold out diagrams for making all manner of pies. Two whole chapters are dedicated to the many ways to make pies! If you are making a fish pie the crust better show the shape of the fish you are preparing!
-Jillian (who now wishes she had found this book before making her first pie last weekend)
Detail from Henry VIII’s First Interview with Anne Boleyn by Daniel Maclise, c.1835.
The Rock Hewn Churches of Ethiopia,
One of the forgotten centers of Christianity, Ethiopia has an ancient history that can be traced back to Biblical times. In the 4th century AD Christian missionaries flocked to the ancient kingdom, establishing a rich Christian heritage that now forms the foundation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. While Islam spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the Christian tradition continued in Ethiopia, with many Europeans thinking of Ethiopia as a “New Jerusalem”.
In the 12th and 13th centuries near the modern day village of Lalibela, a group of Coptic and Ethiopian Christians established a large religious center complete with monasteries and 11 churches. However, the churches of Lalibela were unlike any other in all of Christendom. Carved out of solid rock, the churches of Lalibela were built from the top down rather than the bottom up. Essentially the engineers of the churches found large solid rock outcroppings, planned the shape and layout of the buildings, then had the workers begin carving downward. An incredible feat of engineering and planning, the carving work alone would have taken years of tedious, exhausting hard work as the Ethiopians would have only had simple iron chisels and tools. Aliens were probably not present.
Once the building was carved and shaped out, the workers would have then hollowed out the inside of the building, carving windows, interior spaces, chambers, vaults, domes, and archways. Needless to say, being carved directly out of the solid stone, the churches of Lalibela were made to last. The interior of the churches would have been decorated with Byzantine style icons, portraits, frescos, and mosaics whose color and beauty rival that of Medieval Europe. Much of the artwork is still intact, fastidiously cared for by the monks and clerics who have occupied the grounds for hundreds of years.
In addition to the art and architecture of the rock hewn churches, the placement of the churches was not random or arbitrary. Rather, the churches were built to take advantage of an artesian well system. An artesian well is a well drilled into an aquifer that is under pressure from various layers of rock strata. Due to this pressure, the water will have a tendency to rise to the surface when a well is drilled. It is possible that the residents of the churches had running water which was supplied by the artesian system. It is quite clear that the Medieval Ethiopians were talented geologists as well as engineers.
For centuries the rock hewn churches have been a focal point of pilgrimage for Coptic and Ethiopian Christians. Even today, the churches are still used and serve as a center of holy pilgrimage. Today the rock hewn churches of Lalibela are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Threats to the churches include encroaching development and damage done by tourists. A few of the churches also have structural problems which the UN and Ethiopian government are working to fix.