• Calendar,  Music

    Adam Lay Ybounden

    Adam lay i-bowndyn, bowndyn in a bond, Fowre thowsand wynter thowt he not to long And al was for an appil, an appil that he tok. As clerkes fyndyn wretyn in here book. Ne hadde the appil take ben, the appil taken ben, Ne hadde never our lady a ben hevene quen. Blyssid be the tyme that appil take was! Therefore we mown syngyn Deo gratias! This Middle English carol is from the British Library’s manuscript Sloane 2593, ff.10v-11, c. 1400, so the carol is roughly contemporaneous with Chaucer, though it’s not in Chaucer’s London dialect of Middle English. The thematic core of the carol is the idea that if…

  • Calendar,  Medieval manuscripts

    The Très Riches Heures for December

    December calendar pages in books of hours typically feature butchering pigs, baking, and sometimes, both at once in the form of roasting a slaughtered pig. The porcine emphasis in December is a reasonable one, given that the pigs fattened by eating mast in the form of nuts and acorns in November are now ready to be butchered and roasted. The image below is a detail from the Très Riches Heures of Jean, duc de Berry (Chantilly, Musée Condé, MS 65) calendar image for December. It features a wild boar hunt. The building in the background is the Château de Vincennes, where the Duc de Berry was born in 1340, on…