Thursday, April 19, 2007

bizarre abbot suger quote of the day

Abbot Suger of San Denis.

On why Suger needed to enlarge the church:

"For the narrowness of the place forced the women to run toward the altar upon the heads of the men as upon a pavement with much anguish and noisy confusion."


Garpu the Fork said...

If he's that weird, translating him has got to be a bitch. You're right. It is bizarre. He makes Schenker look lucid.

crystal said...

Neat stuff - gothic archetecture and a Lion in Winter cast :-)

Anonymous said...

That's one wacky quote. Did they have marijuana back then?

Liam said...


His books are actually quite interesting, although you can see sometimes his translator doesn't know what to make of him. The edition I linked to has the Latin as well as the English, and in this case that's quite clearly what he said. That wacky Suger. In any case, his Latin is better than the stuff I have to deal with.


Abelard comes into the picture as well.


I don't think he had access to pot, but these guys did drink wine for breakfast. I also wonder sometimes, when up against ungrammatical and illogical Latin, about whether the writer had been eating moldy bread.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some ancient hotties were making it hard for some ancient book worms to concentrate at church. Does the next line have anything to do with girding up loins for battle by any chance?

cowboyangel said...

Cool, a mosh pit in the church. Which makes me think - is there a Punk Rite yet? Are priests allowed to jump into the first row of the pews or anything?

lullaby said...

Me hace recordar a una manada de vacas.

¿y qué es esto que escucho sobre el limbo?

Te veré en 6 meses.


Jeff said...

Maybe Suger is telling us about the fear that a lot (though not all) of clerics have had for ages - The fear of women walking all over them.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Suger is telling us about the fear that a lot (though not all) of clerics have had for ages - The fear of women walking all over them."

No. He was definitely saying that his church was in desperate need of expansion. That church was a pilgrimage site, and the relics there were drawing massive crowds. It was impossible to hold regular masses while people were trying to see the reliquaries held at the altar.

He is also being comical. Art and literature of the Middle Ages had a highly developed sense of humor, much of it based on comical exaggeration.

Liam said...

Hello anon,

I think Jeff was being comical as well.