[Sca-cooks] Oddities was Images of Dining in Ireland 1581

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Wed Aug 23 18:55:06 PDT 2006

Sorry if I was sharp about this heading business this am.
I popped out my bad knee last Friday and it hasn't improved,
so it's been all bad and worse days again.

I came across a book on this subject and the description in the catalog
reminded me again how far removed we are from the medieval mindset
or world view. We may not accept that there were giants in far off lands
or that certain foods cured snakebites or prevented poisonings, but
in the past these beliefs were held to be true.

Strange Histories: The Trial of the Pig, the Walking Dead,
and Other Matters of Fact from the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds*
*by- Darren Oldridge. Routledge 2004.

Did you know that insects could be tried for criminal acts in 
pre-industrial Europe, that the dead could be executed, that statues 
could be subjected to public humiliation, or that it was widely accepted 
that corpses could return to life?
What made reasonable, educated men and women behave in ways that seem 
utterly nonsensical to us today? /Strange Histories/ presents for the 
first time a serious account of some of the most extraordinary 
occurrences of European history.
Throughout the ages, people have held ideas and events have taken place 
which have baffled later societies. Religious disbelievers were thought 
deserving of death, insects were occasionally excommunicated, studying 
the biology of angels was a legitimate activity, and the pursuit of 
personal happiness was considered rather misguided as a life strategy.
Using case studies from the Middle Ages and the early modern period with 
some from the more recent past, this book provides fascinating insights 
into the world-view through the ages, and shows how such goings-on 
fitted in quite naturally with the "common sense" of the time. 
Explanations of these phenomena, riveting and ultimately rational, 
encourage further reflection on what really shapes our beliefs.
In the light of history, can we be sure of the validity of our own 
ideas? How many of our own beliefs might no longer "make sense" a few 
centuries from now?

"If we can begin to understand why a French judge warned people about 
demonically possessed apples in 1602," he writes, "we might start to 
unravel the intellectual context in which he lived." But more 
importantly, Oldridge hopes that grasping the context of these beliefs 
will encourage readers to take a critical look at their own preconceived 

It might be an interesting read.


Johnna Holloway wrote in the am of August 23rd:
> Can we change the heading here? We aren't discussing
> the printed book or the images from the 16th century anymore!
> Johnnae
> here is in the upper midwest (I think Minnesota, but I'm not certain) a
>> runestone- a runestone 

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