Dec 20, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Manchester, Chetham's Library MS Mun.A.4.99, fol. 16r, detail.

It's time for our annual Christmas post. And this year it seemed appropriate to give a sneak preview of a manuscript on which Medieval Codes researcher Melissa Reid has been working: a fifteenth-century astrological/astronomical/calendrical/medical manuscript, Manchester, Chetham's Library MS Mun.A.4.99. The image above is the top of the calendar page for December. The roundel on the top left shows the Image of the Month, a rather expressionless individual wearing a festive red hat and socks, holding a substantial goblet. On the table before him are some unidentifiable dishes, what looks to my wistful eye like a large hexagonal Wensleydale cheese, a knife, and a covered cup. And the seasonal heading for the month, to accompany this image, is 'Welcome cristemasse wyth ale and wyn'. Merry Christmas from fifteenth-century England. Cheers!

Yin Liu

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