Digital Medievalist: Scéla
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Celtica in PDF
Celtica, an excellent scholarly journal on Celtic Studies published by the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies has, for several years, made the more recent volumes available on the web as downloadable and printable .pdf files. Currently the last three volumes are available here. I can't say enough good things about this endeavor, and the value it offers both advanced scholars and students who may not be able to read Celtica at their libraries.
You need a .pdf reader in order to view or print these files. Adobe's reader is availabler for a variety of platforms, including Mac, Linux, and Windows here at no charge.
Saturday, June 15, 2002
In Dúil Bélrai
Dennis King has created "In Dúil Bélrai", an antique term for a glossary. In this case, a new English - Old Irish glossary in the form of a searchable database, with over 5,000 Old and Middle Irish words, with a little Early Modern Irish mixed in. Dennis King writes to the Old Irish List "We're still tinkering with it and adding new vocabulary, but we invite you all to give it a try."
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
In Search of Ancient Ireland
This three-part PBS series, filmed in Ireland, airs on three Wednesday nights, the 12, 19 and 26th of June. There's a companion book, VHS tapes, and a web site. I've only seen the first episode, "Heroes," to be followed in turn by "Saints" and "Warlords." It's been fun to see familiar faces of various Celticists, historians and archaeologists, all of whom were very much involved in making the films, and the site's nicely done. I'm not sure I agree with all the conclusions, but it's well worth watching.
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Sent from MetaFilter?
If you're coming from MetaFilter, or more specifically, MetaTalk, my main site, Celtic Studies Resources, emphasizes Celtic medieval studies. But there are a number of more general links on things medieval there, in the Resources section. There are also some good meta sites on things medieval. Labryinth is one. Orb is another. I'm rather fond of Websites Medievalists Should Know. There are a few others listed in my bio.
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Other Medieval Blogs
Yes, that's right, I'm not the only one. There's Traveling Shoes from Dr. H. D. Miller, and Ideofact (though he claims he's not a real medievalist, he thinks and writes like one), and the self-described "Cranky Professor, who, any crankiness aside, is well worth the reading.
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Scots wha' Hae
Dave Winer points to a BBC story: "A new dictionary is being compiled which will put tens of thousands of Scots words dating back as far as 800 years on the Internet." Sponsored by the University of Dundee, the project will created a web site for the online dictionary that will contain illustrative quotations for each word, necessitating at text archive. The acronym for the text archive (all such dictionaries must have acronyms!) will be (SCOTS)—the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech.
The resulting dictionary is a Scots version of things like the Oxford English Dictionary, the OED, or Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, GPC, the Dictionary of the Welsh Language. These dictionaries trace words as they are used through time, with illustrative extracts showing the word as is was really used at various dates.
Scots, by the way, is a separate language, or at least a dialect. It is not English. It is sometimes called Lallans, or Traditional Scots, often called Braid Scots, the Doric, the Buchan Claik or the Moray Claik. It is not Scottish Standard English. Scots is sometimes referred to as a dialect of English, with ancestry in Old English, but given that there are distinct dialects within it, and distinct differences in syntax and vocabulary, I tend to think it's closer to being a language than a dialect. It dates back to the middles ages as well, with poets like Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, and other so-called "Scottish Chaucerians".
Sunday, June 02, 2002
Most calendars in Books of Hours (see this if you're not sure what I'm talking about) show either sheep shearing or the wheat harvest for the labor of June. Some June pages instead depict the crab for Cancer and a scene from scripture. The Buchanan e. 3 ms. from the Bodleian is a Book of Hours, Use of Rouen, in Latin and French France, Rouen; c. 1500 for June is a typical June image. You see a peasant with a scythe on the top left, with the symbol for Cancer (though here the crab is more like a crayfish) on the bottom left. In the middle is the actual calendar, with the dates of various Saint's days and other feasts that take place in June, localized for Rouen. The dates in blue are particularly important; traditionally these would be in red, in a rubric, giving use the phrase "red letter day."
The Tres Riches Heures calendar page for June shows the Zodiac, with the crab for cancer prominently featured in the middle. The main panel shows a haying scene, with three peasants swinging a scythe in rhythm, and in the foreground, two women raking the mown hay into small stacks . In the background is the Hotel de Nesle, on the left bank of the Seine, the Duc's Paris palace. On the left, you can see the orange towers of the Conciergerie, still there today, where in 1793 Marie Antoinette was imprisoned. On the far right you can see the gothic spires and cross of Sainte-Chapelle.
The Bibliotheque National NF, Lat 18104, fol. 3v, John of Berry's Petites Heures, France, Paris 14th Century, for the month of June Shows Saint Paul preaching to the Philippians, the Church personified, and at the top, the symbol for Cancer, this time very clearly a crab.