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.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Recreating the face of Dante

The Mail Online website has an article about a new reconstruction that has been made of the face of Dante. It is based on details of his skull as recorded in 1921 during an examination of his remains as well as a more recent study in 2007.

The illustrated article can be seen at Meet the architect of hell: True face of Dante revealed

The article is of course wrong to state that Dante was the first to write about the state of being and topography of the afterlife. That theme was a not infrequent subject for medieval writers, but Dante’s skill led him to create what has become the definitive literary account, as well as codifying literary Italian in the process.

Whilst reading it do look at the linked article reconstructing the horrendous accident which befell Phineas Gage in Vermont in 1848. I came across his story some years ago and it stayed in my memory. That someone  could survive that at all is quite amazing. That subsection can also be seen directly at Meet the man who was shot in the head with an iron rod - and SURVIVED

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