Sep. 27th, 2009

salvianus: (Lunt)
so many pretties:

PAS photo's:

I love the presumably protective inscription on cat. number 550:
[.] I R G E : D N E : D I S E P E N T U // [.] F I N I M I C I T U I
[:] E/T [.] U G E N T Q U I O D E R U N // T T E A F A C I E T [U] A
read as:
'surge d[omi]ne [et] disepentur (for dissipentur) inimici tui et
fugent (for fugiant) qui oderunt te a facie tua'
(Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be scattered and those who hate
thee be driven from thy face).
This passage is from the Psalms (this is given in most reports as
67:2, which is the numbering in Jerome's Vulgate, but Psalm 68:1 in the
NIV) which itself quotes Moses' invocation as the ark set out each
morning in the desert warded by the pillar of smoke, Numbers 10:35.

Another text from Anglo-Saxon England also quotes this passage:
Felix's Vita S. Guthlaci, written in c.730-49 one extant manuscript
fragment dating from the late eighth or early ninth century. In this,
at one point Guthlac uses the Psalm to ward off evil spirits:
"þone sealm sang: Exurgat deus et dissipentur, et reliqua. Sona swa he
þæt fyrmeste fers sang þæs sealmes, þa gewiton hi swa swa smic fram
his ansyne"
(sang the psalm: Exurgat Deus et dissipentur, et reliqua. As soon as
he had sung the first verse of the psalm, they departed like smoke
from his presence).

which itself refers to the continuation of the Psalm: "Just as smoke
vanishes, so may they vanish, just as wax flows away before the face
of fire".

I suspect some of the soldiers of Honorius were equally militant! I
just really, really hope they can tell us what it might have been
attached to. The treatment of the complete cross suggests the treasure was not buried by a believer, and thus if this strip did adorn a Christian warrior's gear
it may not have saved him, but as the inscription is on both sides, my guess is that it is part of another cross. Given that the hoard was deposited within sight of Lichfield Cathedral, the first building built in 700 to house the bones of St. Chad, I prefer to hope it was extracted from a pilgrim on their way to dedicate it to the shrine, or perhaps even lifted from the altar itself: a similar cross was buried with St Cuthbert.

Professor Michelle Brown believes the uncial lettering used implies a date of 7th or early 8th century, while Professor Elisabeth Okasha thinks the style of insular majuscule suggests the 8th or early 9th century. The St Chad Gospels housed in the Cathedral since the tenth century were written in the 8th, perhaps around 730. The script is mostly Insular majuscule but has some uncial characteristics and is thus called semi-uncial.

(much info from


salvianus: (Default)

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