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The Valley of Sweet Bells and Dead Bodies February 19, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Valley of Sweet Bells and Dead Bodies

Usually when Christian missionaries come face to face with a pagan shrine, the vitae tells us that the axe comes out and the splinters fly. But imagine if you were one of these (perhaps God-forsaken) missionaries in the woods of early medieval Germany or the great mountain ranges of Asia. How many really felt courage […]

The Soul Zoo January 27, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Soul Zoo

So many interesting replies to recent posts to put up but little Miss B has a nasty flu so she is home from school and Beachcombing will be spending the morning with her – she is a state of such anxiety that the poor kid needs to be held at all times. Saturday seems a […]

Throne Room Tricks January 15, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Throne Room Tricks

Beachcombing previously had some fun describing the tricks the ‘civilised’ use to frighten ‘savages’ in jungles and deserts far from the capital cities of Europe. But what about – today’s subject – the tricks that the civilised used when ‘savages’ came to visit them on home ground. Take, for example, the shenanigans found in the […]

Medieval Dog-Heads: An Eye-Witness Report January 9, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Medieval Dog-Heads: An Eye-Witness Report

An interesting passage from the Itinerarium of Friar Odoric (obit 1331), a pioneering Italian traveller in Asia: Odoric may have been the first European to reach Lhasa. He certainly stood before the great Khan and penetrated China. He also visited the south seas. The island of Moumoran has never been satisfactorily identified but probably lies […]