I’ve been pretty busy preparing for a significant work activity and haven’t had time to really buckle down on Irenaeus. Also, I am not entirely happy with my first post. To me it’s a bit disjointed and – this is coming from the person who wrote it – once I posted it and re-read it I was left with something of a “so what?” feeling. It’s not a complete waste of electrons as it has some decent information but it reads as if I didn’t have a clear point or objective I was trying to communicate. I don’t write blog posts like I do my professional work. Once I feel comfortable with a topic I just start typing it up in WordPress. But for my subsequent Irenaeus posts, I think I’ll at least write out a first draft in a word processor program and edit that. There’s just too much there. I debated pulling that post and doing a complete re-write and didn’t, partly because Irenaeus the heresiologist is just a prologue to why I think understanding him relative to the early church matters. But it showed me I need to do something different next time.
Up to about a month ago the blogosphere had been relatively quiet. But over the past few weeks things have really taken off. I don’t know why unless as the fall semester approaches people have recharged themselves mentally and are starting to think about their respective areas of expertise. Whatever the reason, being as I’m not going to offer anything remotely original for a little while, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at what other folks have been posting about. I’ve organized these “Cool Stuff” posts in different ways since I’ve been doing this, including chronologically by posts. This time, I’m going alphabetically by blog title.
This is the eighth of these round-up-type posts that I’ve done and I have a feeling Jonathan Jarrett is batting 100% for appearances with his blog, A Corner of Tenth Century Europe. And as his is at the top of my blog list alphabetically, I’m going to lead off with a recent post where he highlights a relative lack of sources from southwest Europe around the year 1000 and an example of how charter evidence can sometimes add information to the narrative history of the region, in this case related to the sack of the Iberian peninsula town of Manresa by Muslim forces around 997.
A recent post on Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives, while not medieval, is another example of how archaeological finds often have been misinterpreted by researchers, and then used to support bias. In this case, the blogger (I’m not sure if the author is searching for anonymity however, though you can easily deduce who this is, said author will remain unnamed here) discusses the assumption that the remains found at Western Hemisphere sacrificial sites were of individuals who were; a) women, b) virgins, and c) beautiful. Additional analysis has shown that these first two assumptions are not always true and the third premise is both unprovable and subjective enough to where it really shouldn’t be talked about without other supporting evidence.
A new and very active blog is archaeodeath by Howard Williams of the University of Chester. He has posted a lot and what’s also great is that much of his archaeological investigation includes taking his family along. What a great way to further your profession! If you’re interested in archaeology and haven’t come across his site yet, take a long, hard look. Very frequent (I’m jealous), quality posts which often include a lot of pictures. I’ll link to one from just yesterday where he explores Anglesey Island sites (Anglesey Island is just off the coast of Wales).
I’d have to check to be sure but I bet Bones Don’t Lie, written by Katy Meyers, a Michigan State grad student, has made it on these Cool Stuff posts every time since I started following her blog. This is another very active blog. Over the summer she posted regularly about a research trip to England and her latest post is one on how Quicklime has often been misused in modern novels and is far more effective in preserving bodies than destroying them.
Magistra et Mater recently posted summaries from a couple of IHR Early Medieval Seminars. Each of these seminars discuss aspects of state formation and continuity/change, the first for 7th and 8th century Egypt, the second for later Anglo-Saxon England.
On Norse and Viking Ramblings Viqueen has a post about how Valkyries are portrayed in Scandinavian literature. I really haven’t gotten to my Viking/Scandinavian reading yet but this post was a nice complement to a presentation by Phil Purser that I heard a couple of years ago.
Karen Jolly provided an interesting post, along with quite a few pictures, of the monastic site of Glendalough on Revealing Words. I like living in the US most of the time but I do get envious of Europeans when I see posts like this.
Continuing with the monastery theme, Tim Clarkson posted a summary of a lecture on Kirkmadrine, a religious site in Southern Scotland on his blog, Senchus. Actually, he posted a summary of what can be found on a link to a description of the lecture (is this a summary of a summary?). You’ll need to go to Tim’s post to get to that one.
Another blog I’ve only recently been following is Surrey Medieval, authored by Robert Briggs. In it he discusses work he’s been doing, primarily focused on the County of Surrey in England. I’ll link a detailed post he recently put together summarizing statistical evidence of coins finds in Surrey, along with some interesting implications which the nature of these finds provide.
Maybe this post is really about blogs I’ve only recently come across. In any case, Michael Cheong provides a post which includes some humorous passages from Bald’s Leechbook on The Eastern Anglo-Saxonist. I find Medieval medicine very interesting myself and I enjoyed this post.
That’s it for this time. Hopefully I’ll figure out what I want to say about Irenaeus in the near future.