Roadside Shrine



Note (Social Science)

Learning the language

I can now extend the inflection range of of the term ‘slavish adherence’ as I have learned to identify two types of mind associated with the history of ideas; the ‘lesser’ and ‘greater’ mind.

The ‘lesser’ mind ‘slavishly adheres’ the ‘greater’ mind alters and innovates.

Presumable the idea that the ‘medieval mind slavishly adheres to authority’, invites the reader familiar with the language to make a comparison between the medieval and modern mind.

Alternatively it allows for a more charitable position to be taken in which some exceptions to the rule can be granted. Degree of flexibility here in regard to interpretation and historical position which will aid the replication of the language.

The role of such language to inform and to entertain.  The reader is invited to identify with one of the two imagined communities of mind.

Philosophy is presented as a very difficult and exclusive subject. The role of entertainment here  to influence social attitude and behavior.


Note (Processes of Arrest)

One of the interesting features of research on the four seasons is that its conducted by an interdisciplinary team. The views expressed are not those of a single writer. A point that H.F.J Horstmanschoff makes in the initial research papers published before the full texts.

Medical history is problematic in this regard, early medieval medical history requires input from both early medieval historians and classicists. An attempt to do this in Irish medical history  in the 70’s resulted in a failure of cooperation between classical and Celtic scholars.

Processes akin to cat herding.

Its difficult to tell the degree to which the discrepancy in regard  to dating was viewed by differing members of the team here.

I trained first in archeology, discrepancy between physical evidence and the historical record is what you expect to see. Getting a firm match here would be surprising.

It makes the subject more interesting but the relationship between archeologists and historians is somewhat prone to complication and difference of opinion.

   Its no big deal being arrested it’s what happens in the processes of that arrest that’s really interesting

Even when dealing with physical evidence alone, the departmental nature of study leads to an alteration in context which effects how objects are displayed.

One of the oldest examples of tartan was discovered as part of the surviving fabric wrapper round a pot containing a coin hoard. The fabric goes to the fabric expert for analysis, the coins to the coin expert, the pot the pottery expert.

When it comes to display in the museum, each item is placed in the relevant section of expertise, the original context is lost.

Ordering here results in a processes of contextual drift. Archeological recovery of objects is a destructive processes.

Literal Error

Noun. 1. literal error – a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind. erratum, literal, misprint, typo, typographical error. mistake, error – part of a statement that is not correct; “the book was full of errors

The first firm date for the prints known as the four Seasons is 1925. The prints formed part of a collection by the English surgeon Sir D’Arcy Powers and were shown to Le Roy Plummer in 1924 who went on to produce a survey of fugitive sheets the following year.

It remains unknown how they were acquired by Sir D’Arcy Powers, 1925 is the year these four anonymous engravings enter the historical record.

Modern X ray techniques obtained a clear watermark, an outline of a fool’s cap, French in origin but used throughout Europe in the 17th century, the watermark has a misprint, which first appeared in batches made in 1680 and continued until 1710.

In terms of print and manufacture, that would appear to occur sometime between 1680 and 1710.  The quality of the prints suggests that they are ‘late impressions’, the copper plates were by this time worn due to large numbers of prints being made.

The anatomical knowledge presented in the prints gives a differing date range. Details have been copied from anatomical works, yet no texts compiled after 1640 were consulted by the artist (or artists).

One notable omission from the engravings is any visual reference to Willian Harvey’s observations on the circulation of the blood.

The images use of astrological calculations and alchemical imagery suggest a very different world from the, experimental and sober observations of Harvey but one of Harvey’s earliest supports was the physician Robert Fludd, a prolific writer of occult philosophy.

Fludd’s influence on Harvey is a matter of historical debate.

A debate, which at the moment I know nothing about. Images provide a significant learning experience.

Fludd’s name was suggested as the possible designer of the prints but that suggestion has been rejected by the team of researchers responsible for the most recent research on the prints.

The prints are however retrospective and Fludd’s relationship with Harvey may be a general way in to understanding the nature of historical retrospection (both in the 17th  and  21st centuries).

I have never looked at a subject which from a scientific perspective is not an ‘error.’ I notice as a construct a reading list, that I place papers that contain the terms ‘error’, ‘irrational’ etc. in the read later list. “Slavish adherence” (to the past) looks on initial reading as if it will be one of the most popular.