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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries.


  2009.04.08  20.00
Art or UFO? Certainly great art!

I found this website comparing mostly art pieces from the Medieval and Renaissance eras said to contain representations of UFOs. I don't know if they are right, but what is sure is that the art shown is great!


Website in Italian, but you can only look at the pictures.



  2007.12.05  21.54
Let there be light


Folio 1r Translation

'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day' (Genesis, 1: 1-5).



  2005.11.24  16.51

"Medieval Bestiaries and the Birth of Zoology", by Aura Beckhöfer-Fialho:
"Each entry in the bestiary was usually presented in two parts: First, the animal's physical attributes, habitat and habits were presented. These were then interpreted symbolically in order to teach a moral lesson to the reader. An exception to this rule is the Bonnacon: a fictitious animal described as a horse with a bull's head. This animal, uncharacteristically has no Christian symbology attached to it. The reason for this soon becomes clear once we look into it."

as reported by Pliny the Elder in Natural History 8, 16:
"There are reports of a wild animal in Paionia called the bonasus, which has the mane of a horse, but in all other respects resembles a bull; its horns are curved back in such a manner as to be of no use for fighting, and it is said that because of this it saves itself by running away, meanwhile emitting a trail of dung that sometimes covers a distance of as much as three furlongs [604 m], contact with which scorches pursuers like a sort of fire."

it's the POOP MONSTER! i doubled over with laughter when i found this. it kills me to think of episodes of embarrassing animal encounters that spawn this sort of report. what sort of sound does this creature make? reports indicate the breath is as bad as the exhaust. my advice is not to look too deeply into the matter (i know, it's hypnotic isn't it?). i guess fart jokes have always been funny!

Mood: jackie bonasus

  2005.11.24  03.34
A Topsy-Turvy Universe

i have been delightedly researching the medieval bestiary for the past while. the passage that follows demonstrates that if a picture is worth a thousand words, we're doing quite well at three-hundred and twenty without the picture ;o)

"This was a psalter in whose margins was delineated a world reversed with respect to the one to which our senses have accustomed us. As if at the border of a discourse that is by definition the discourse of truth, there proceeded, closely linked to it, through wondrous allusions in aenigmate, a discourse of falsehood on a topsy-turvy universe, in which dogs flee before the hare, and deer hunt the lion. Little bird-feet heads, animals with human hands on their back, hirsute pates from which feet sprout, zebra-striped dragons, quadrupeds with serpentine necks twisted in a thousand inextricable knows, monkeys with stags' horns, sirens in the form of fowl with membranous wings, armless men with other human bodies emerging from their backs like humps, and figures with tooth-filled mouths on the belly, humans with horses' heads, and horses with human legs, fish with birds' wings and birds with fishtails, monsters with single bodies and double heads or single heads and double bodies, cows with cocks' tails and butterfly wings, women with heads scaly as a fish's back, two-headed chimeras interlaced with dragonflies with lizard snouts, centaurs, dragons, elephants, manticores stretched out on tree branches, gryphons whose tails turned into an archer in battle aray, diabolical creatures with endless necks, sequences of anthropomorphic animals and zoomorphic dwarfs joined, sometimes on the same page, with scenes of rustic life in which you saw, depited with such impressive vivacity that the figures seemed alive, all the life of the fields, plowmenm, fruit gatherers, harvesters, spinning-women, sowers alongside foxes, and martens armed with crossbows who were scaling the walls of a towered city defended by monkeys. Here an initial letter, bent into an L in the lower part generated a dragon; there a great V, which began the word 'verba,' produced as a natural shoot from its trunk a serpent with a thousand coils, which in turn begot other serpents as leaves and clusters."
- Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (Adelmo's Marginalia)

in one fell swoop Umberto Eco is able to create not just an imaginary book, but a whole library and a world to hold them all. almost single-handedly, in this section he has created a narrative genre by describing drawn descriptions!

Mood: hirsute is like a hairsuit

  2005.11.04  10.31

can't remember the source of this one...

not of the same period or culture, but maybe of some interest to you: Arthur Szyk - illuminator


  2005.10.16  02.03

Le Livre de la Cité des DamesChristine de Pisan (b. 1364-d. after 1429), Le Livre de la Cité des Dames (The Book of the City of Women), Paris, around 1405, Manuscripts Department, Western Section, Fr. 607, Parchment

Christine de Pisan, the first female writer to earn a living from her pen, defended the status of women. In this illustration, aided by Reason, Uprightness, and Justice, she lays the foundation of a City exclusively for women who have served the cause of women (female warriors, politicians, good wives, lovers, and inventors, among others). The imagined City will be crowned by the glory of the Virgin and sainted women.

Source: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bnf/bnf0003.html


  2005.10.11  00.09

From http://www.bnf.fr/enluminures/manuscrits/manuscrit.htm, Bibliothèque de France manuscript