Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday 12 January 2023

A medieval Italian murder victim

Live Science has an account of the facial reconstruction of a young man from northern Italy who was the victim of a murder sometime in the couple of centuries before 1260. 

Although he remains anonymous the recreation of his facial tissues gives him personality in addition to the four sword wounds to his skull that ended his life. His burial place would suggest he was from a prosperous family and the attack that caused his death appears to be a targeted killing rather than one in battle or in any way accidental. Recreating his facial features not only recreates something of his personality but also makes his violent fate that bit more immediate. Whether it shocked his contemporaries or was just one of the things that comprised the round of medieval life and death remains, of course, unknown.

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