Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Feast of St James

The oldest known representation of St James as a pilgrim on route to his own shrine, from the eleventh century. Note the cockle shell insignia.

Today is the feast of St James the Greater, known in Spain as Santiago el Mayor. His tomb in Compostela in the Northwestern region of Galicia has been an important pilgrimage site for well over a thousand years -- as important in the Middle Ages as Rome and Jerusalem. A bit of information: his story from the Golden Legend in Caxton's translation, and an interesting interactive site from UCLA on the Way of St James.

Imagine what it's like when weary pilgrims who have been walking for weeks under the unforgiving Spanish sun arrive at the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. Imagine how meaningful it is to them! Imagine how bad they smell! You need a lot of incense to cover that up, hence the Botafumeiro:

Monday, July 23, 2007


Stele of Naram-Sin, king of Akkad, celebrating his victory against the Lullubi from Zagros.

Via Talmida, the "Which Ancient Language are You?" test. My results:

Your Score: Akkadian

You scored

You are Akkadian, a blend of the incomprehensible symbols of the Sumerians with the unwritable sounds of the early Semitic peoples. However, the writing just doesn't suit the words and doesn't represent everything needed, so you end up a schizoid mess. Invented in Babylon, you're probably to blame for that tower story. However, crazy as you are, you're much loved and appreciated, and remain actively in use by records keepers long after schools have switched to other languages.

Link: The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Friday, July 13, 2007

feast of St Hank

St Henry II, the last of the Ottonians and the only emperor to be declared a saint, being crowned by Christ in a page from an illuminated imperial sacramentary.

As usual, I'm too damn busy to blog, even though so much worth commenting on has come out of the Vatican recently and I still have to respond to Talmida's meme. Fortunately, Crystal has two excellent posts on the motu proprio and the recent CDF document concerning other churches. I direct everyone to her blog.

As for Latin, traditionalists, etc., I direct you to an amusing old post of mine.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


As always, too busy to blog, so I'm just posting this odd image -- a Bolshevik propaganda poster from 1920 showing Trotsky as St George, slaying the dragon of counter-revolution (note the capitalist top hat). Below, a Russian Icon of St George from the fourteenth century.