Monday, October 12, 2015

Considering wood, cross, and crucifixion iconography in the world of Anglo-Saxon England, part 7 deferred

Anglo-Saxon bed burial with gold cross
Artifacts from a 7th century grave of a teenage Anglo-Saxon girl found near Cambridge, England in 2012.

 Before I continue with part 7 of the current blog, I find I need to step back and do some more research on the iconography of trees and wood for the Anglo-Saxons since it spans pagan and Christians periods.  

Also I needed to go back to read Elene by Cynewulf (in translation since I cannot read Old English). Somehow I missed it in English literature classes.  But I suspect that is because the poem by Cynewulf was deemed "too Christian."  Instead we had a read Beowulf  in a not very good translation.  I never grasped the structure of the original nor its use of alliteration. More modern translations come closer to giving a sense of the original poem. 

 I wanted to back to reread Barbara  C. Raw's seminal book Anglo-Saxon Crucifixion Iconography and the Art of the Monastic Revival.  There have been quite a number of newer works that have expanded her work that I needed to read.  Since the Jesse Tree design falls so  much into the Anglo-Saxon tradition of iconography and not narrative design, I wanted to explore more before I added anything more to a world already too crowded with words that lack any thought.

Crucifixion from Holy Rood Church, Daglingworth, Gloucestershire. Though Christ in on the cross, he is not a figure of suffering but one nimbed in majesty. 10th century.

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