Vesalius

I found a good article about Vesalius from:

 http://yuckylicious.tumblr.com/post/15956982622/insides-out

In 1543, Andreas Vesalius published one of the foundational texts in all of human discourse, De humani corporis fabrica, On the fabric of the human body. It is based on his series of Paduan lectures on anatomy which were, unusually for the time, illustrated with the performance of actual dissections. His remarkably accurate and detailed illustrations show for the first time what the inside of a person looks like, and corrected many erroneous assumptions about human anatomy that had persisted since Galen.

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Anatomy classes aren’t conducted like this anymore. 
For one thing, the dogs aren’t allowed in to carry off scraps that fall from the table. 

Folks are pretty common. How come we were so clueless about the plumbing for so long? Because Roman Law disallowed dissection  (Galen used monkeys instead, assuming them to be just like humans on the inside) and the Church frowned on cutting people up to take a look. Eventually, they decided that executed criminals were fair game for medical science, because they weren’t expected to make an appearance at the Pearly Gates, so could be dismantled with impunity.

 

 But it is not the dissections that Vesalius is known for; it’s his illustrations of them. Advances in printing meant that he could print drawings in exquisite detail that did justice to the minutiae he uncovered. In death he leant his subjects a dignity they had been denied in life, picturing them in the poses of classic art, even as they held open their peeled-back skin and muscle to reveal what lay inside. They lean against plinths in rustic settings, or hang from an invisible pulley, their bones and joints labeled the way livestock is on butcher’s charts.

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 The Church did not like to think of the human as an animal, being concerned, as they were, with the soul, but we have no such reticence about drawing a tasty beast up into sirloins and flanks and ribs and chops as if their bodies were Bingo cards.

The beautiful book of household management that sadly lacks an identifying cover that this illustration of a bullock comes from is one such playscape. Part 5 is a “mouse round.” Part 1 is, of course the cheek. Unlike Vesalius’s illustrations, carving charts generally feature living animals, the divisions superimposed or printed onto the skin. As such, they are the exact opposite of how most people buy they meat these days, as slabs of red flesh packed onto a polystyrene tray bound in plastic wrap, its origin a mystery to most. We like our protein anonymous, without the specter of a face glaring back at us — our own, perhaps, reflected in the supermarket’s fluorescent lights.

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A copy of De humani corporis fabrica housed at Brown University is bound in human skin, which seems appropriate. It might give one the heebie-jeebies to handle though. If it had been bound, as most books were, in vellum, no-one would turn a hair.

Papyrus

Papyrus was expensive enough in ancient Egypt that it was often recycled and reused. Many papyri are written on both sides, and old papyrus were sometimes recycled as mummy cartonnage. 

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The preparation of Papyrus

Papyrus was generally manufactured and sold as rolls which would measure 20-40 cm in height (top to bottom), and could be up to 30 meters in length (left to right). The rolls could be used for long texts, such as literary works, or could be cut into sheets for shorter uses, like private letters.

When a roll was used for a long work, the text was written horizontally along the roll and divided into columns. A reader would scroll along, keeping a segment of the roll flat in front of him to read, while keeping the ends on his left and right rolled up for convenienceContrary to what you might think, ancient papyrus was quite sturdy and very flexible. The fact that texts that are thousands of years old are still around today is a testament to its durability! Nevertheless, when papyri are taken out of the desert, the new climate can be detrimental to their preservation.

Bamboo Books

 

 

 

Bamboo and wooden slips  were one of the main media for literacy in early China. The long, narrow strips of wood or bamboo typically carry a single column of brush-written text each, with space for several tens of Chinese characters. For longer texts, many slips may be bound together in sequence with thread. Each strip of wood or bamboo is said to be as long as a chopstick and as wide as two. The earliest surviving examples of wood or bamboo slips date from the 5th century BC during the Warring States period. However, references in earlier texts surviving on other media make it clear that some precursor of these Warring States period bamboo slips was in use as early as the late Shang period (from about 1250 BC). Bamboo or wooden strips were the standard writing material during the Han dynasty and excavated examples have been found in abundance. Subsequently, paper began to displace bamboo and wooden strips from mainstream uses, and by the 4th century AD bamboo had been largely abandoned as a medium for writing in China.

 

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A copy of Art of War

 

Getty Apocalypse

When I was searching for something interesting to put in this blog, I came across an interesting article about one of the Apocalypse books, which were more popular than the Bible at the time,the Getty Apocalypse. I`m going to take parts from that article and some images from the book. Hope you enjoy it as I did!

This manuscript was the product of a previous doomsday craze. In the late 1100s, an abbot named Joachim of Fiore gazed deeply into the arcane symbolism of Revelations, did some math, and forecast the end of time as precisely 1260. By the mid-1200s, the day’s headlines were filled with mounting signs of the Antichrist: as Ghengis Khan’s armies moved in from the East, emperor Frederick II was persecuting the pious Franciscans, which led to his excommunication and deposition by the Pope.

Suddenly, there was a boom in lushly illustrated apocalypses. In 1255 a team of artists and scribes got to work in England, applying fluid Gothic book hand, jewel-toned washes, and gold to the book’s end-time visions, from Christ with the seven candlesticks to the beast cast into the pool of fire. Appearing in many of the gorgeous illuminations is the author of the book, Saint John, peering through a window onto the action and sharing in our horror, fear, and wonder.

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Saint John crouches low to see the horrifying action in this illumination of The Massacre of the Two Witnesses by the Beast 

To help the medieval reader make sense of these terrifying apparitions, the manuscript’s theologian-slash-editor included commentary from Berengaudus, the foremost apocalyptician of the Middle Ages. (The facsimile’s editor, art historian Nigel J. Morgan, helps us 21st-century readers by translating scripture and commentary from Latin to English.)

Berengaudus’s commentary addresses the thorny questions raised by the biblical text. How, for example, does the Antichrist convince all humans to join his cult in a mere two and forty months? By applying “diverse and unheard-of torments.” Why do the Book’s supervillains—the false prophet, the dragon, and the beast—spew frogs from their mouths? Berengaudus:

…they are rightly likened to frogs, that are unclean reptiles living in the mud, because just as the frog dwells in dirty waters, so the disciples of Antichrist will easily deceive those who are not afraid to be dirtied by diverse vices and sordid ways. For the harsh and ugly voice of frogs signifies their wicked preaching full of blasphemies.

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Frogs fly from the mouths of the apostles of the Antichrist in Unclean Spirits Issuing from the Mouths of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet

The last illuminations of the Getty Apocalypse have gone missing over the centuries, but the facsimile includes pages from a related manuscript that conclude the Book of Revelation with the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the New Jerusalem. The reign of the Antichrist will sear flesh and rend souls, but the saved will go on to enjoy a new spiritual utopia.

Also, the book is for sale ( a bit expensive for my taste) at this adress;http://www.foliosociety.com/book/GTA/getty-apocalypse

Most important thing, link to the actual article; http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/illuminating-the-end-of-time/

Theodosian Code

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Theodosian Code (also known as Codex Theodosianus) is basically a book of Roman law written by Theodosius II and and his co-emperor Valentinian III.  Theodosius desired to create a code that would provide much greater insight into law during the later Empire.

Different theories about Nazca lines

There are many theories about the Nazca lines and their purpose, such as a calendar, a map of underground water supplies, ancient “message in the bottle” for the future generations – even landing strips for space aliens. These theories originate from various writers and scientists. Here are some of the interesting theories:

Erich von Däniken – Cargo-Cult

Probably the most famous theory about the Nazca Lines is von Daniken`s. He had the idea that long time ago visitors from other stars visited the earth and naturally Nazca. At this place they landed, during the landing stones was blown away by the power of rocket propulsion. By approaching more the power was increasing and the cleaned band broader. In this way the first trapezes emerged. Later the Aliens disappeared and left confused people. Like in the modern cargo cults they tried to call the Gods back by drawing lines, figures and trapezes.

The Code of Carl Munck: The Ancient Geomatria of Numbers

The ancient sites around the world are very precisely positioned on a global coordinate system in relation to the position of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The positions of the sites are given in the geometry of their construction. A very ancient system of numbers was used in the system, which we will call “Gematria.” Gematrian numbers are found in ancient myths and religions, including the Bible. Gematrian numbers were used in systems of weights and measures by ancient peoples, including the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Romans.


The Code system uses mathematical constants, such as pi and the radian. The system also uses conventions that are still in use, such as the 360 degree circle, 60 minute degree, 60 second minute, the base-ten numbering system, the 12-inch foot, and the 5280-foot mile. The ancient Mayans used Gematrian numbers in their very accurate timekeeping. The Nazca Line ground markings “locate themselves” on The Code Matrix System.

Albrecht Kottmann – Writing system

Albrecht Kottmann tried another approach to the Nazca-Mystery. He divided the figures into different parts and analyzed them in a geometrical way. So he divided a bird of 286 Meter length into 22 Parts. So he found that the head takes two parts, the neck five parts, the body three parts and the other twelve parts for the beak. The proportion between the beak and the rest is 6:5. Kottmann believes the geometric signs are a picture writing system with giant and small letters. 

 Dr. Zoltan Zelko – Map

The Hungarian mathematician Dr. Zoltan Zelko analyzed the Nazca-line-system and compared with other ancient places in Peru. So he found out that Nazca could be a map of a 100 x 800 kilometer including region around the Titicaca-Lake.