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Nicolaus de Lyra - Postillae in Prophetas (c. 1423).

Illumination by Master of Otto van Moerdrecht.

(Source: speciesbarocus, via hesperos)

behold my true form


Alex Berger - The City of Narni, Umbria, Italy (2012).

(via peregrinusexpectavi)

you would not believe the number of posts I’ve started to write about ferguson and then deleted

it’s just like I don’t even have the words to express how absolutely furious I am as a black human being

"Some days in late August at home are like this, the air thin and eager like this, with something in it sad and nostalgic and familiar…"

 William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (via wordsnquotes)

(via journalofanobody)


The Lorsch Gospels is an illuminated Gospel Book written between 778 and 820, roughly coinciding with the period of Charlemagne's rule over the Frankish Empire. Both the manuscript and the carved ivory panels from the cover are rare and important survivals from the art of this period.


Another teaser:
The Lady Chapel at All Saints’ Cathedral - Albany, NY

(via lordlavendre)

ugh I have a terrible headache which is bad enough but aren’t headaches extra awful because of the worry they induce which is that something’s gone wrong with your brain and you might die


Antonin Mercié, Joan d’Arc, 1875-1900 French at the Art Institute of Chicago.

one of my favorites

(via elucubrare)


Dress-pin in the form of a carved sapphire and wrought gold bust representing a woman with elaborate hairstyle

AD 100-130


(Source: The British Museum)

(via elucubrare)


Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.

Q: Does everyone fight the same snake?
A: No. You will fight one of the many snakes that are kept on campus by the facilities department.

Q: Are the snakes big?
A: We have lots of different snakes. The quality of your work determines which snake you will fight. The better your thesis is, the smaller the snake will be.

Q: Does my thesis adviser pick the snake?
A: No. Your adviser just tells the guy who picks the snakes how good your thesis was.

Q: What does it mean if I get a small snake that is also very strong?
A: Snake-picking is not an exact science. The size of the snake is the main factor. The snake may be very strong, or it may be very weak. It may be of Asian, African, or South American origin. It may constrict its victims and then swallow them whole, or it may use venom to blind and/or paralyze its prey. You shouldn’t read too much into these other characteristics. Although if you get a poisonous snake, it often means that there was a problem with the formatting of your bibliography.

Q: When and where do I fight the snake? Does the school have some kind of pit or arena for snake fights?
A: You fight the snake in the room you have reserved for your defense. The fight generally starts after you have finished answering questions about your thesis. However, the snake will be lurking in the room the whole time and it can strike at any point. If the snake attacks prematurely it’s obviously better to defeat it and get back to the rest of your defense as quickly as possible.

Q: Would someone who wrote a bad thesis and defeated a large snake get the same grade as someone who wrote a good thesis and defeated a small snake?
A: Yes.

Q: So then couldn’t you just fight a snake in lieu of actually writing a thesis?
A: Technically, yes. But in that case the snake would be very big. Very big, indeed.

Q: Could the snake kill me?
A: That almost never happens. But if you’re worried, just make sure that you write a good thesis.

Q: Why do I have to do this?
A: Snake fighting is one of the great traditions of higher education. It may seem somewhat antiquated and silly, like the robes we wear at graduation, but fighting a snake is an important part of the history and culture of every reputable university. Almost everyone with an advanced degree has gone through this process. Notable figures such as John Foster Dulles, Philip Roth, and Doris Kearns Goodwin (to name but a few) have all had to defeat at least one snake in single combat.

Q: This whole snake thing is just a metaphor, right?
A: I assure you, the snakes are very real.


"The Snake Fight Portion of Your Thesis Defense" by Luke Burns (via inevitablerecursion)

I’m picking my thesis topic now and this made me laugh and feel immediately sobered at once.

(via hesperos)


A coin for curing the “King’s Evil”; the gold angel of Charles I, London (Tower mint), 1625-1649

The gold ‘angel’ was introduced in 1465 by Edward IV, and was called an angel because it shows the Archangel Michael on the obverse. On the reverse is a medieval ship, which had been on the reverse of medieval gold coins since 1344. It was originally worth one-third of a pound (six shillings and eightpence), but by the sixteenth century it had increased in value to ten shillings, indicated by the Roman numeral X.

The coin dates from the reign of Charles I (1625-1649) and bears the inscription AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REGIS (‘the love of the people is the King’s protection’), which was introduced by Charles I. This reflects the king’s concern about popular discontent, which was entirely justified by the events of the English Civil War, culminating in the execution of the king on 30th January 1649.

This coin was pierced so that it could be used in the ceremony of ‘touching for the King’s Evil’. It was believed that the skin disease scrofula could be cured by the touch of the king, and thus it was also called the King’s Evil. Sufferers of the disease who were touched by the king were presented with a gold angel to hang around their neck, as an amulet to reinforce the cure.

One of the last people to be touched for the King’s Evil was Dr. Samuel Johnson, one of the greatest literary figures of the eighteenth century, who was touched by Queen Anne (1702-1714). The first Hanoverian monarch, George I (1714-1727), abandoned the practice, which was regarded as superstitious.

(Source:, via separatioleprosorum)


Triumph of Death, from the Sonnets and Triumphs of Petrarch