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  • Druidic Ravens at the Tower of London? October 10, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Druidic Ravens at the Tower of London?

    Beachcombing got an email this week from a Canadian history student. ‘Seeing as you seem to have knowledge of historical things quite off the beaten track I thought I’d seek some historic tourism advice. I’m a Canadian history student and over Christmas I’ll be travelling to London. I plan on a doing a couple of […]

    Mayan Blood and Mayan Victims October 8, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Mayan Blood and Mayan Victims

    Beachcombing has had a bad week and so to perk himself up a little he thought that he would resort to the last strategy of the truly desperate: pity someone who is worse off than himself. In this spirit and in continuance of his wcih (‘worst careers in history’) series he has decided to rememeber the […]

    Antique Christians in Furthest China October 7, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Antique Christians in Furthest China

    Beachcombing has often visited in these pages his favourite WIBT (‘wish I’d been there’) moments from history. And today he takes the gentle reader to another this time in China in honour of his mother and step-father who have recently fled the dominions for a holiday in the Far East. It is 1625 and the gutsy Portuguese […]

    Dragons and Hairy Stars in Early Ireland September 30, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Dragons and Hairy Stars in Early Ireland

    Beachcombing knows that there is a fashion for exaggerating the achievements of the medieval Irish. So let Beachcombing be emphatic. The early Irish did not have a table of elements. They did not talk of words like ‘relativity’ or ‘displacement’. They did not make clones or drop atom bombs. However, recent research has suggested that […]

    San Miniato: Renaissance Vandalism September 28, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    San Miniato: Renaissance Vandalism

    Beachcombing has loved the extraordinary monastery of San Miniato (Florence), his favourite continental church, since he first saw it fifteen years ago. Started in a largely undocumented generation in the eleventh century it showed from the beginning an ambition that, though wholly medieval in form, anticipated the Florentine renaissance in terms of its self-confident eccentricity. However, there […]

    Arthur’s Grave at Glastonbury September 13, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Arthur's Grave at Glastonbury

    Beachcombing thought that he would recall tonight the first recorded archaeological dig to take place in the United Kingdom. The place? The magical abbey of Glastonbury on the fringes of the Celtic fringes. The time? Probably 1191, though different accounts give slightly different dating clues. The find? The body of Arthur, Lord of the Round […]

    A Medieval Coin in New England Soil September 11, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    A Medieval Coin in New England Soil

    After much interest in the long-travelling Helgö Buddha Beachcombing is pleased to introduce a more controversial wrong-place piece, an eleventh-century Viking coin that allegedly ended up in New England’s soil several generations before Columbus. The Maine Penny, as it called, was found by an ‘amateur’ (an ugly word for archaeologists) at the Goddard site near the mouth […]

    Curse Thy Neighbour September 9, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Curse Thy Neighbour

    Beachcombing was thinking about war today (as you do) and immediately the generations (actually three semesters) fell away and he saw one of his favourite students, a Southern Baptist, giving a passionate and articulate Christian justification for killing: it was a long list that began with Genesis 15 and ended, triumphantly, with Matthew 10, 34 […]

    Image: Pius XII in a bombed out Rome September 7, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval
    Image: Pius XII in a bombed out Rome

    What would have happened if photography had been invented not in the early nineteenth-century but a hundred years before Columbus crossed the waters blue? Well, Beachcombing imagines Franciscan monks running around with tripods and dark rooms being built next to monastic kitchens. The Church would have monopolised this new technology, not as an art, but […]

    History and Akasha – A Walk on the Wild Side… September 4, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval
    History and Akasha - A Walk on the Wild Side...

    Bit of an unusual post today as Beachcombing plunges, with misgivings and fear, into Akasha. Akasha is – for those of you, like Beachcoming a week ago, who have not the foggiest –  ‘an unseen substance which is all around us all and present in every atom of this world and of the universe. This […]

    Transexual Medieval Irish Abbot September 3, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Transexual Medieval Irish Abbot

    Beachcombing brings you to the south-east of Ireland, very close to where Dublin stands today, in that distant and slightly unreal past when all Irish folk stories are set. Our hero is the abbot of the monastery of Drimnagh. The time Easter. And this, being a fairly loose establishment, the abbot is a young married […]

    Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights? September 2, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights?

    Beachcombing has indulged himself in the last two months with a total of six RAF posts: all in commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. He knows though that enough is enough and thought that he would start to wind down with ‘tally-ho’: he promises no more than a couple new air posts […]

    The Buddha Converts to Catholicism August 31, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
    The Buddha Converts to Catholicism

    Dream last night in which Beachcombing was forced to sit and write an exam by his (terrifying) secondary school science teacher. The subject? Krishna naturally. Taking this as an omen of sorts Beachcombing has determined that today he will delve into Eastern religion and tell the scandalous story of the Christian saint Josaphat and his […]

    Madog: The Missing Trans-Atlantic Poem August 26, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Madog: The Missing Trans-Atlantic Poem

      Universal mourning in the Beachcombing household as (i) twelve hours on trains and in hospital beckons and, more importantly, (ii) the beloved Beachcombing babysitter has announced her intention to go to South Africa. Beachcombing spent several hours trying to convince the local South African consul that said babysitter was actually a terrorist threat but to […]

    Fasting Against God in Medieval Ireland August 23, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Fasting Against God in Medieval Ireland

            Beachcombing begins today with a reference to the medieval Irish belief – winningly surviving in parts of the Irish countryside to this day – that St Patrick not God would judge the Irish on the day of judgement. This makes for pretty awful theology, not least because St Patrick was expected […]

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