Cases of Mysterious Gender and Being Worthy in Liturgical Texts

The Apostles’ Creed widely used in the Christian West affirms belief in what it calls the ‘communio sanctorum’. The first word is easily translated ‘communion’, but the gender of the second Latin word is ambiguous, for it could be masculine, in which case it would mean ‘of the saints’, or neuter, which would yield the meaning ‘of holy things’ (i.e. the […]

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Barbara Santich’s The Original Mediterranean Cuisine Medieval Recipes for Today (1996)

In this fascinating book, an author from South Australia examines what food was like in the Mediterranean areas of Spain and France, and Italy, before the arrival from the New World of the tomatoes, peppers and potatoes that characterize the cooking of that region now. Drawing on  books of recipes that were written in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that have yet to […]

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Movements of Peoples

The partition of India which saw Pakistan, including East Bengal, depart from the remnant mother country in 1947 unleashed an astonishing movement of people from one side of the borders to the other. Estimates of the number involved vary widely, but are generally upwards of ten million; some authorities go as high as 18 million, the number of Muslims moving into Pakistan being approximately the same […]

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Alessandro Striggio and Thomas Tallis

My friends keep educating me, and the unexpected arrival of a CD of music performed by the excellent British group I Fagionini has introduced me to a new composer, Alessandro Striggio, a Mantuan of the sixteenth century. One of his pieces composed in the 1560s is a forty-part motet Ecce beatam lucem in which a Latin text by a Protestant composer, […]

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