Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When History Becomes Legend: Catapults and Dragons

Some of my little charges are very talented. These second
graders spent nearly two hours occupying themselves with
this art project after school.
It seems as though a very unfriendly dragon had wandered
into Medieval Christendom and decided to vent his anger
on a few unsuspecting knights.
However, the knights were not totally unprepared! They had
amassed, over time, an abundance of catapults, spears and goodly
armor for occasions such as these. After all, one can't just let
dragons go wandering about burning down perfectly
good churches and castles!
Oops. Somebody dropped a house on it's side.
If you breath fire you of course eventually become the color of it.
      During our discussions about their incredible piece of drawing, I spoke to the boys about another similar artwork depicting historically accurate battles (cough). This one in particular was created by women. A fact, mind you, that these small boys found difficult to swallow.

      The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux, IPA: [tapisʁi də bajø], Norman : La telle du conquest) is an embroidered cloth—not an actual tapestry—nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.
      According to Sylvette Lemagnen, conservator of the tapestry,
The Bayeux tapestry is one of the supreme achievements of the Norman Romanesque, ... Its survival almost intact over nine centuries is little short of miraculous, ... Its exceptional length, the harmony and freshness of its colors, its exquisite workmanship, and the genius of its guiding spirit combine to make it endlessly fascinating.
      The tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin tituli (captions), embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William's half-brother, and made in England—not Bayeux—in the 1070s. In 1729 the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at a time when it was being displayed annually in Bayeux Cathedral. The tapestry is now exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France. Read and see more . . . 

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