Not just middle-aged in the middle ages

From Nat Geog, via Cronaca, news that Philippe Aries was at least partly wrong: Members of the London-based Society of Thames Mudlarks look very different today from the Victorian street children the group takes its name from. Where ragged waifs once searched for bits of bone and coal to sell, men in overalls, gloves, and…

Never-ending penis

Akaky over at The Passing Parade lives in fear of the perpetually extending penis promised him by the spammers. No need: we will resurrect The Mighty Thor to deal with this latter-day Midgard Serpent. Here is a taster from an August 1975 story entitled Night of the Troll!, in which Thor interrupts his battle with…

Birthrates in the unknown world

In an article on the Madrid bombings Michael Carlin (via HispaLibertas) proclaims the doom of a Spain trapped in fear and ignorance. No reason to get excited, I would have thought, since the British have known that this boat ain’t going nowhere for at least 416 years. Nevertheless, I did enjoy Mr Carlin getting all…

Animals in mediaeval visions of the hereafter

In the Middle Ages anyone of any commercial talent (and his/her mum) had visions and stored some human bones in the new toilet chapel extension of the pig shed nave of the temple next to that handy spring holy source on the hillside. Here, extracted by moderately cunning device from Amazon, is the relevant part of the ToC of Eileen Gardiner’s (not completely exhaustive) Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell: A Sourcebook:

De Airix en de Catalans: transcription challenges

There’s a sign outside Montgat’s C11th Ermita de Sant Martí (this walk) which lists people interred there between 1677 and 1814: name date description Patrici Aucana 1677-9-8 Irishman, soldier at Montgat Castle Eduard Fuit 1689-7-29 Irishman, soldier at Montgat Castle Altura Morfi 1695-12-15 Subaltern at Montgat Castle   1699-3-19 Pauper of the town of Tui,…