Posts Tagged ‘medieval lore’

The Story of the Welsh Dragon

Friday, January 7th, 2011
wales, dragons, red dragon, medieval mythology, dragons myths legends

The Red Dragon - Welsh Flag

By Tom Sangers

The story of the red dragon, ‘Y Ddraig Goch’ (literally, the red dragon), that appears on the Welsh flag goes back centuries, even to before the invasion of Britain by the Saxons.

When the Celts ruled Britain, before they were driven out of England into Wales and Cornwall, there was a legend in the Mabinogion, a collection of eleven stories, that a red dragon living in Britain had begun fighting with an invading white dragon.

As the two fought, they wounded each other, and the cries of agony from the red dragon made crops barren, killed animals and caused pregnant women to miscarry.

King Lludd, the ruler of Britain at the time, went to visit his sibling Llefelys, who was in France. He was instructed that to stop the dragons fighting, thus ending the cries that were ruining his people, he must dig a pit large enough to contain them both in the centre of Britain. He must then fill it with mead and cover it in cloth.

Having done this, the dragons came and drank the mead, which made them drowsy, and they fell asleep in the pit, wrapped in the cloth. Lludd imprisoned them, and in the Mabinogion, that is the end of the matter.

Later, however, in the Historia Britonum, the dragons are still trapped in the pit and cloth, and every time King Vortigern attempts to build a castle there, the walls and foundations are destroyed overnight, though nobody knows why.

Vortigern’s advisors say that to solve the problem he must find a boy without a natural father and sacrifice him. This will stop the destruction of his castle.

When this boy is found, and it is revealed to him that he is to be sacrificed so that Vortigern’s castle can be built, the boy says that the advisors are wrong, and that actually the destruction is occurring because of the two dragons trapped in the pit.

So, Vortigern digs open the pit, frees the two dragons, and finally the red dragon kills the white dragon. The boy pipes up again, telling Vortigern that the red dragon represented the people over which Vortigern ruled, whereas the white dragon represented the Saxons.

Vortigern’s people are presumed to have been the native Britons who, although they were driven by the Saxons into only Wales and Cornwall, were never completely defeated. They didn’t exactly slay the white dragon as they were supposed to, however.

This article was written by Tom Sangers for Snowdonia Tourist Services, who offer a Snowdonia holiday in North Wales cottages.

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http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Story-of-the-Welsh-Dragon&id=3128436


The Celts – Rich Traditions & Ancient Myths

For 800 years, a proud, vibrant, richly imaginative warrior people swept ruthlessly across Europe. The ancient Greeks called them “Keltoi” and honored them as one of the great barbarian races. Follow their fascinating story from their earliest roots 2,500 years ago through the flowering of their unique culture and their enduring heritage today, enhanced with stunning reconstructions of iron-age villages, dramatizations of major historical events and visits to modern Celtic lands.

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The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales: 30th Anniversary Edition

The four stories which make up the Mabinogi along with three additional tales from the same tradition form this collection and comprise the core of the ancient Welsh mythological cycle. Included are only those stories that have remained unadulterated by the influence of the French Arthurian romances, providing a rare, authentic selection of the finest works in medieval Celtic literature. In this first thoroughly revised edition and translation since Lady Charlotte Guest’s famous Mabinogion.

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British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions


Published 1880

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Early Medieval Period – Ottonian Art – A Glimpse

Friday, December 31st, 2010

By Annette Labedzki

The Pre-Romanesque period in German art history, between circa 919-1056, is called “Ottonian Period,” after the names of three Saxon Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, named Otto-Otto, the Great, Otto II, and Otto III, who ruled from 919-1024. The Ottonian Empire included the lands that now are Germany, Switzerland, and Northern & Central Italy. This period was one of the greatest ages after the fall of Carolingian Empire. Economic growth and political patronage helped in creating an atmosphere of increased cultural and artistic activity, which along with Late Antique, Byzantine, and Carolingian influences, helped develop a distinctive style, the Ottonian Art form.

ottonian artwork, early medieval period, ottonian

The Ottonian emperors wanted the history to remember them as great rulers. Towards this objective, they trumpeted their closeness to the pope, the fact that gave them spiritual authority to rule. They also sought close ties with the contemporary empires of repute, primarily the Byzantine, a civilization of much superior might and sophistication. They were especially impressed by the likes of Constantine, Theoderich, & Justinian of Late Antique, and Charlemagne of Carolingian Empire. Byzantine portrait of Justinian, a Barberini ivory work, placed with the portrait of Otto III in “Munich Gospels of Otto III,” reflects the connect. Due to these close ties, the Ottonian artisans and artists were exposed to art forms that showed the majesty and the grandeur of other empires. The Ottonian emperors too therefore, patronized the visual art forms that announced their greatness.

This period was also associated with reform and growth in the church, and the monasteries were the producers of the finest Ottonian Art. The artistry included magnificent churches & cathedrals and richly decorated luxury objects, meant for accessorizing the treasures and interiors of these religious buildings.

The Medieval illuminated manuscripts, manually written books with bright and beautiful illustrations, painted or drawn, that lit up or illuminated the page, became an important form of artistic expression. All this was possible due to the sponsorship and the patronage of the emperor & the bishops, as they helped arrange the best of the tools and skills possible. Master of the Registrum Gregorii, or Gregory Master, who worked between 970 and 980, was one sought out artist of the era. He created “Codex Egberti,” (980s). “Munich Gospels of Otto III” (c. 1000) and the “Pericope Book of Henry II” (c. 1001-1024) are some other exemplary books of the Early Medieval Period.

In architecture, the main characteristics of the Ottonian basilicas were symmetry, wide aisles, and bare walls. Clear, circular forms and detailed facial expressions characterized the religious sculpture. The doors of the cathedrals and churches were at times decorated with sophisticated bronze relief.

Ottonian artisans were also proficient in fine metalwork and created some of the world’s most astonishing luxury objects. The emperor’s court in its effort to match the glory and the pomp of the Byzantine Empire, splurged on huge ceremonies and magnificent attire. This in turn boosted the demand for brilliant ornaments and jewelry to complement them. Ottonian artifacts were more ornate than descriptive. They displayed a Germanic taste for “abstract” geometric pattern, fine details, and intricate techniques. Gems, enamels, crystals, and cameos, complimented the metalwork, with ivory work also being quite creatively competent. The “Otto-Mathilden Cross” is one of the most landmark sculptures of the Ottonian Art belonging to the Early Medieval period.

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art . Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at http://www.labedzki-art.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Annette_Labedzki
http://EzineArticles.com/?Early-Medieval-Period—Ottonian-Art—A-Glimpse&id=2103264

Turkish Art and Architecture: From the Seljuks to the Ottomans

The Anatolian peninsula, one of the oldest seats of civilization, has been ruled by a succession of great powers, including the Romans and their successors in the East, the Byzantines. Its Islamic era began in 1071, when the Seljuk Turks, nomads from Central Asia who had already taken control of Persia, defeated the Byzantine army at Manzikert and moved west, creating a new sultanate in Anatolia. The Seljuks were eventually succeeded in this region by the Ottoman Turks, who crossed the Bosphorus

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Images of the Ottoman Empire

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire was one of the world’s great powers. Generations of travelers—explorers, traders, tourists, scientists, artists—were drawn to these magical lands. Whether depictions of contemporary life in the bustling street, the court, the harem, or elegiac evocations of the ruins of antiquity, the hundred images selected here by artists from David Roberts and Edward Lear to John Frederick Lewis bring a largely vanished world vividly to life

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Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West (Reaktion Books – Picturing History)

Looking outward for confirmation of who they were and what defined them as “civilized,” Europeans encountered the returning gaze of what we now call the East, in particular the attention of the powerful Ottoman Empire. Global Interests explores the historical interactions that arose from these encounters as it considers three less-examined art objects—portrait medals, tapestries, and equestrian art—from a fresh and stimulating perspective. As portable artifacts, these objects are particularl

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Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature

Until now, the notion of a cross-cultural dialogue has not figured in the analysis of harem paintings, largely because the Western fantasy of the harem has been seen as the archetype for Western appropriation of the Orient. In Intimate Outsiders, the art historian Mary Roberts brings to light a body of harem imagery that was created through a dynamic process of cultural exchange. Roberts focuses on images produced by nineteenth-century European artists and writers who were granted access to hare

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The Wisdom of Bartholomew Anglicus – On Wild Boars

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Bartholomew Anglicus

English Franciscan, Bartholomew Anglicus, lived and wrote in the middle of the thirteenth century, probably before1260. His writings speedily traveled over Europe. It was translated into French by order of Charles V. (1364-81) in 1372, into Spanish, into Dutch, and into English in 1397.

Medieval Lore for the Cosmopolitan Interest

“The boar is so fierce a beast, and also so cruel, that for his fierceness and his cruelness, he despiseth and setteth nought by death, and he reseth full piteously against the point of a spear of the hunter. And though it be so that he be smitten or sticked with a spear through the body, yet for the greater ire and cruelness in heart that he hath, he reseth on his enemy, and taketh comfort and heart and strength for to wreak himself on his adversary with his tusks, and putteth himself in peril of death with a wonder fierceness against the weapon of his enemy, and hath in his mouth two crooked tusks right strong and sharp, and breaketh and rendeth cruelly with them those which he withstandeth.”

“And useth the tusks instead of a sword. And hath a hard shield, broad and thick in the right side, and putteth that always against his weapon that pursueth him, and useth that brawn instead of a shield to defend himself. And when he spieth peril that should befall, he whetteth his tusks and frotteth them, and assayeth in that while fretting against trees, if the points of his tusks be all blunt. And if he feel that they be blunt, he seeketh a herb which is called Origanum, and gnaweth it and cheweth it, and cleanseth and comforteth the roots of his teeth therewith by vertue thereof.”

- Bartholomew Anglicus

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Bartholomew Anglicus – On Rainbows

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Bartholomew Anglicus

English Franciscan, Bartholomew Anglicus, lived and wrote in the middle of the thirteenth century, probably before1260. His writings speedily traveled over Europe. It was translated into French by order of Charles V. (1364-81) in 1372, into Spanish, into Dutch, and into English in 1397.

Medieval Lore for the Cosmopolitan Interest

“The Rainbow is impression gendered in an hollow cloud and dewy, disposed to rain in endless many gutters, as it were shining in a mirror, and is shapen as a bow, and sheweth divers colours, and is gendered by the beams of the sun or of the moon. And is but seldom gendered by beams of the moon, no more but twice in fifty years, as Aristotle saith. In the rainbow by cause of its clearness be seen divers forms, kinds, and shapes that be contrary. Therefore the bow seemeth coloured, for, as Bede saith, it taketh colour of the four elements. For therein, as it were in any mirror, shineth figures and shapes and kinds of elements.”

“For of fire he taketh red colour in the overmost part, and of earth green in the nethermost, and of the air a manner of brown colour, and of water somedeal blue in the middle. And first is red colour, that cometh out of a light beam, that touches the outer part of the roundness of the cloud: then is a middle colour somedeal blue, as the quality asketh, that hath mastery in the vapour, that is in the middle of the cloud. Then the nethermost seemeth a green colour in the nether part of a cloud; there the vapour is more earthly. And these colours are more principal than others.”

- Bartholomew Anglicus

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The Wisdom of Bartholomew Anglicus? Anglicus On Wine..

Monday, July 26th, 2010
Bartholomew Anglicus

English Franciscan, Bartholomew Anglicus, lived and wrote in the middle of the thirteenth century, probably before1260. His writings speedily traveled over Europe. It was translated into French by order of Charles V. (1364-81) in 1372, into Spanish, into Dutch, and into English in 1397.

Medieval Lore for the Cosmopolitan Interest

“The worthiness and praising of wine might not Bacchus himself describe at the full, though he were alive. For among all liquors and juice of trees, wine beareth the prize, for passing all liquors, wine moderately drunk most comforteth the body, and gladdeth the heart, and saveth wounds and evils. Wine strengtheneth all the members of the body, and giveth to each might and strength, and deed and working of the soul showeth and declareth the goodness of wine. And wine breedeth in the soul forgetting of anguish, of sorrow, and of woe, and suffereth not the soul to feel anguish and woe. Wine sharpeth the wit and maketh it cunning to enquire things that are hard and subtle, and maketh the soul bold and hardy, and so the passing nobility of wine is known. And use of wine accordeth to all men’s ages and times and countries, if it be taken in due manner, and as his disposition asketh that drinketh it.”

“Red wine that is temperate in its qualities, and is drunk temperately and in due manner, helpeth kind and gendreth good blood, and maketh savour in meat and in drink, and exciteth desire and appetite, and comforteth the virtue of life and of kind, and helpeth the stomach to have appetite, and to have and to make good digestion. And quencheth thirst, and changeth the passions of the soul and thoughts out of evil into good. For it turneth the soul out of cruelness into mildness, out of covetousness into largeness, out of pride into meekness, and out of dread into boldness. And shortly to speak, wine drunk measurably is health of body and of soul.”

- Bartholomew Anglicus

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