Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hello! This will be my final post for the semester. It’s been really fun sharing my articles and books with you and I really hope we were all able to learn along the way-I know I was! I realized I didn’t wrap up the discussion on Friar Henry Daniel, so I wanted to tell you about that. Also, I will be staying with the garden over the summer to get a website up and running! As you know, I’ve been collecting information on plants in Loyola’s Heraldic garden for use on the website. However, Loyola also has a labyrinth right by the garden, complete with mythical and/or significant medieval beasts! These beasts will need to be systematically researched and written up too. This work will probably be done by another intern, so I thought I might use this opportunity to pass the torch on to the next scholar working on our medieval garden.
                 This is a photo of part of our garden, taken by Charles Heinrich in September 2012.  

First, on Friar Daniel, I wasn’t able to find published copies of any of his works, as I told you in a previous blog post. Dr. Gross-Diaz directed me to Jeannette Pierce, an extremely helpful research specialist at Loyola’s library. She told me that, according to the Dictionary of National Biography, Friar Daniel’s works remain in manuscript form at the British Library, so there are no published copies. His works are on plants, including 2 herbals and the treatise on rosemary, and a medical work on “urinoscopy” that are at the Bodleian Library, Trinity College in Cambridge and the British Library. He was skilled in medicine and gardening as well as being a friar.[1] The entry further says,

            “The clinical book is dated to 1379, when it was finished during the summer after three    years of work, hindered by Daniel's obedience as a friar and by serious illness. The herbal was evidently begun soon afterwards and exists in two forms: a detailed but incomplete draft in BL, Arundel MS 42, rich in personal asides; and the regularized but somewhat abridged final version of BL, Add. MS 27329. The latter is divided into two parts, the first covering herbs and the second trees, fruits, and animal and mineral substances used in medicine.

            What little is known of Daniel's life is derived from autobiographical remarks in his             works. They record that he had in his 'young years ... worked seven years to learn', and      had possessed a garden at Stepney beside London, in which he grew 252 kinds of herbs. By 1380 he must have reached a considerable age and had over thirty years' experience of growing rosemary. He had detailed knowledge of the region around Stamford and mentions journeys in Wiltshire, to Bristol, and in Kent and East Anglia. Many accounts of plants in the herbal display a remarkably deep interest in plant ecology and include   some of the earliest records of individual species. He also distinguished between wild and garden plants and provided vernacular as well as Latin names.”[2]

                                                                Friar Daniel's herbal

I don’t know if we can get Friar Daniel’s herbals in the near future: that may be a good project for our next intern. I do know that I have greatly enjoyed the herbals that I’ve found; Henry of Huntington’s Angelicus ortus and William Turner’s New Herball.

Another possible pursuit of study would be the medieval beasts. I discovered the unicorn as a significant beast for medieval peoples. The book The Unicorn Tapestries by Margaret B. Freeman has wonderfully assembled an in-depth study of the symbolism woven intricately into the series of tapestries that show a medieval unicorn hunt. First of all, the unicorn held meaning for Christians specifically as appearing in the Old Testament as a symbol of the Christ to come. This is seen in quotes taken from the King James Version of the Bible: “…his horns are like the horns of a unicorn.”[3] Philosophers and great theologians of the early Church further developed the relationship between the unicorn and Christ. Freeman says that, “by interpreting the unicorn as a Christian symbol, early theologians made possible his acceptance by learned Christians.”[4] Next in literary history came the very popular Physiologus, (forerunner of the Western European bestiary) which included real and “fanciful” descriptions of medieval animals and beasts.[5]

The story that is depicted in the tapestries is the one told in the Physiologus.[6] The 5th tapestry shows the unicorn tamed by a virgin maiden (meant to represent that Christ came to earth through Mary), the 6th tapestry simultaneously shows the unicorn being killed and captured and then brought to the castle of a nobleman and the 7th tapestry is titled “The Unicorn in Captivity,” where he has come back to life, just as Christ did. Freeman tells us “thus the story of the unicorn, in texts and in tapestries, may serve as an allegory for the whole divine plan for the redemption of sinful man.”[7] In addition to his appearance on the tapestries, unicorn horns were highly valued in the Middle Ages.
                              The final unicorn tapestry at the Cloisters Museum at the Met

Well, that’s all for this blog everyone! This internship has truly been a blessing and a pleasure for me and I loved sharing it with you! I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog too, and those of you near Chicago, please remember that we always need volunteers for the Heraldic Garden at Loyola. Take care, and I’ll see you at the garden!

                                      Our beautiful medieval garden

[1] Jeannette Pierce emailed me the entry from the Dictionary of National Biography, written by the great John Harvey (he wrote the article, not the dictionary, although with interests as diverse as Harvey’s I wouldn't be surprised.) Harvey used these sources; C. H. Talbot and E. A. Hammond, The medical practitioners in medieval England: a biographical register (1965) + J. Harvey, Medieval gardens (1990), 118-19; 189-62 + J. H. Harvey, 'Henry Daniel: a scientific gardener of the fourteenth century', Garden History, 15 (1987), 81-93
Archives BL, Arundel MS 42 + BL, Add. MS 27329 + BL, Royal MS 17 A.iii, fols. 13-17 + BL, Royal MS 17 D.i + Bodl. Oxf., MS Ashmole 1404 + Bodl. Oxf., MS Digby 29, fols. 295v-297 + Trinity Cam., MS O.1.13, fols. 77v-82v
[2] Ibid. (1)
[3] Quoted from Deuteronomy 33:17 in Margaret B. Freeman “The Unicorn Tapestries” (Lausanne; Helvetica Press Incorporated, 1976).
[4] Margaret B. Freeman “The Unicorn Tapestries” (Lausanne; Helvetica Press Incorporated, 1976).
[5] Ibid. (4)
[6] Ibid. (4)
[7] Ibid. (4)

No comments:

Post a Comment