• Calendar

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: The Boar Hunt

    At this time of year, I always think about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, because the tale opens and closes with references to Christmastide. It also features a boar hunt, the second of three hunts that Sir Gawain’s host at Haut Desart, Sir Bertilak engages in while, back at the castle, Sir Gawain is pursued by the lady of Haut Desart. This image from The Morgan Library’s ms. of Gaston Phoebus’ Le Livre de la chasse/The Book of the Hunt (MS M. 1044 (fol. 64r) shows that the lymerer and his lymer, the huntsman with a dog who flushes the boar into the open, have forced the boar into…

  • Music

    The Boar’s Head Carol

    There was a Medieval Christmastide tradition of ceremonially cooking and presenting the boar’s head as a main course at a feast. Indeed, Queen’s college still celebrates a notable boar and an alum in “The Boar’s Head Carol.” Tradition says, or at least William Henry Husk, Librarian to the Sacred Harmonic Society, says that the boar’s head tradition of a feast at Queens derives from Where an amusing tradition formerly current in Oxford concerning the boar’s head custom, which represented that usage as a commemoration of an act of valour performed by a student of the college, who, while walking in the neighbouring forest of Shotover and reading Aristotle, was suddenly…

  • Personal

    Something New and Different

    I confess that I’ve been so very busy writing about things neither medieval or Celtic, that Scéla has been neglected. And I’ve noticed that my fellow medieval bloggers haven’t been much more active in terms of blogging. I further confess that I’m moving this month. And, perhaps most telling of all, I’m a Christmas junkie. So I’m going to post about Christmas stuff for most of this month. Now, since I’m a Medievalist, and a Celticist, there’s going to be a decided Medieval and Celtic bent, so’s to speak, to these posts, but they will be Holiday Oriented. Some of them will involve Music. Many may involve intoxicating liquors. Consider…