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The properties of wine

You may remember that good cheese has six qualities, according to Le Menagier de Paris. To continue ennumerating things having to do with food in the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, here's John Lydgate to tell you about the nine properties of wine.

The ix. properties of wyne per Iohanem Lidgate.

Wyne of nature hathe properties nyne,
Comfortythe coragis, clarifiethe the syght,
Gladdeth the herte this lycor most devyne,
Hetythe the stomake of his natural myght,
Sharpithe wittis, gevith hardines in fight,
Clensyth wounds, engendrithe gentyll blode;
Licor of licor, at festis makyth men lyght,
Scoureth þe palat, through fyne þe color good.

From MS. B.M. Adds. 29729, leaf 16. Many thanks to suffisaunce for pointing it out.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
if you're still looking for images with spectacles in them, i found a few in a presentation today for medieval theatre...oddly enough one was of a virtue and one was of a vice...

let me know and I'll get the citations to you...
Feb. 10th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
I am always looking for more images with spectacles! I'd love to have the citations. Thank you for remembering.
Feb. 10th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
here ya' go!
This was from a presentation from Prof. Meg Twycross (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/english/staff/m_twycross.html) so I have hunted down MS references. The first is temperance and she's shown holding specs in addition to about 50 other things... here's a quote from the site I found that mentioned the image:

Temperance has not only
the bridle and the clock (the bit worn in her mouth
and the clock on her head), but also a pair of spectacles
in one hand, spurs on her shoes, and a windmill on
which she rests her feet. The other virtues have corre-
spondingly elaborate attributes, explained
in a set of verses that accompany the pictures in a
manuscript (ca. 1470) of a French translation of Martin
of Braga's Formula vitae honestae (Tuve, 1966).

from: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv4-49

The second citation is from a Dutch painter, Maarten van Heemskerck. I remember prof. Twycross telling us about the image and how the figure has glasses, but now I can't seem to find them...bah. I want to say its somewhere in this: http://www.kgi.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/projekte/weltlauf/archiv/4_1/l0042_2.htm
but I could be really wrong.
Feb. 10th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
Re: here ya' go!
I need to write about my dissertation more often. The image from the Martin of Braga ms. is the very family of imagery which my whole dissertation is about! That's why I'm studying the particular set of objects I am: clock, spectacles, windmill, plus sandglass because an older Temperantia holds it.

Thank you for pointing out the triumph of Chastity though - I didn't know that reference for spectacles, and even if it's not in that one, it should be in that series from what you say. And I'm always happy to look at more of the Triumphs. I've looked at quite a few already, but only because the Triumph of Time usually involves - well - things like clocks and sandglasses.

Now what really intrigues me about all this is how Prof. Twycross made use of all this material I'm working on - what did she say about it? How did she use it? Is she working on a project related to it?
Feb. 10th, 2005 04:53 am (UTC)
Re: here ya' go!
omg. then you HAVE to look at the whole series of virtue images too. One has a clock on her head, temperance (with the glasses) stands on a windmill...and I think it's a pretty early image as well.

I know that the artist on the 2nd image is the Dutch guy...sorry that I couldn't find the pic, but you can always email Prof. T.

She came as part of a seminar on medieval theatre. She was basically talking about how one portrays allegory in theatre and then started talking to us about how allegory changes (she traced this through the various virtues). :-) So, no, it's not directly related to your project, but she seemed very nice and really smart, so drop her an email if you need the images and I'm sure she'd show them to you!
Feb. 10th, 2005 05:09 am (UTC)
Re: here ya' go!
They're a very good set. The "new iconography" of the virtues developed in the mid-15th cent. in France, effectively lasted for about 50 years, its influence trailing off in the next century but still occasionally used. They're really, really nifty, you are absolutely right.

I really like the image of hope standing on a furnace myself.

That she's using these images at all - and in such a way you knew to notice the spectacles - means it would make sense for me to be in touch with her. Thank you so much!
Feb. 9th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Looking for images with Spectacles? Boy do I have one for you. I'm putting it up on my page now, feel free to grab it. It's the Reisch map of the world (1503/13;) one of the wind-heads wears glasses. It's the first time this happens on a map... it may be the first appearance of specs in print.

I love the Lidgate, by the by.
Feb. 10th, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)
That's a wonderful image, and particularly appropriate because I'm working on personifications as well! I've saved a copy of it - is there any more bibliography I should know about the map in citing it? Also, I suppose it's too much to hope you have a closeup of that part of the map?

Nifty as it is, it's not the first appearance of spectacles in print. I don't know what is, since that's not data I've been tracking. But Martin Schongauer's Death of the Virgin was printed in 1469 and includes a pair. There are also pairs being worn in the Nuremburg Chronicles (1493). I'm under the impression they're fairly common in print by the early 16th century, but that might be because they show up in a fair number of Dürer prints.

You can see the Schogauer print here, although you can't really make out the spectacles. They're being held up to the book resting on the near corner of the Virgin's bed so that the two apostles can read the book together.
Feb. 10th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)
I'll send you the image and our description tomorrow.

Thanks for the info re: the death of the Virgin: i think I need to correct our copy regarding the Reisch map, but that sort of thing is always an improvement.

I'd love to know which leaves of the Nuremberg Chronicle feature the specs; I'll get a chance to find out before too long... I don't think we've an example now, but we've handled them.
Feb. 10th, 2005 05:12 am (UTC)
Because the chronicle recycles plates so copiously, they're everywhere. One person-image involving spectacles is used to represent various notables throughout the text. (For some reason I thought there were two of them - one wearing glasses, one holding them. I can only find a picture handy of them being held offhand.) Plotinus and Jacob are both shown with that plate, and at least half a dozen others. There's a copy of the image online here.
Feb. 10th, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
That's very cool.

That's what struck me the first time I saw the Smith library's examples of the chronicle: The re-use of woodcuts seemed telling: while enterely an effort to economize, it said something to me that the woodcut indicating a pogrom was repeated a good number of times. Something like an admission. "That? Oh yeah, we do this all the time. What of it?"
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )