Thursday, January 5, 2012

Links to the Middle Ages

Beauty, danger, inspiration, original texts, and a green palace. 

 Illustration from Vidal Mayor, a legal code written and illuminated in Huesca, Spain, between 1290 and 1310 for King James I of Aragon and Catalonia. Now at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. 

Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination, 1200–1350

The J. Paul Getty Museum is hosting an exhibit of rare texts to explain the role of illustrations in medieval books. If you can't get to Los Angeles before May 13, visit the website for stunning pictures and mini-lectures.

Violent knights feared post-traumatic stress
A researcher of medieval violence at the University of Copenhagen has come upon a book by a 14th century knight who wrote about the psychological stress of being a knight. But King Languines told the boy Amadis in Chapter 4, when he asked to be made a knight, "Whoever wants to become one and uphold the honor of the title of knight must do many grave things that will often trouble his heart."

Visit the Winchester Cathedral
For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have come to Winchester Cathedral. The cathedral's website invites you to be transformed and overwhelmed by beauty — a virtual visit with video, music, and photos.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook

Part of Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebooks Project, the sourcebook offers a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented for educational use. A must for the serious researcher.

The Queen goes green
Windsor Castle, the site of many events in Amadis of Gaul, is now powered by a hydroelectric plant. Two 40-ton Archimedes screws in the River Thames began generating electricity on January 1, which Queen Elizabeth buys for the castle — a move that will both save money in these times of austerity and be more environmentally friendly.
Photos of the castle and the turbines:

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