Dec 22, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021

 Yin Liu

London, British Library MS Harley 2332, fol. 20v.

It's time to restart what used to be an annual tradition on this blog: the Christmas post. This year, let's look at a page from an illustrated almanac. This was a small book -- I haven't included the ruler in the cropped image, but the book would easily fit in one hand -- that included a detailed calendar, showing feast days of the Church, the Zodiac months, etc. The purpose was timekeeping (computus) and prognostication: the calendar would help you not only to figure out what day it was, but also what agricultural activities you should be engaged in, and possibly when it would be best to undergo medical procedures like bleeding.