Hello everyone, first of all please accept my apology for the lack of posts here on my blog. I will endeavor to bring you up to date as to what has been happening for the past few months.
I think most of you know that I have been studying the ancient Mycenaean Linear B script writings which, I am happy to say is progressing well and I am now in my third year University level. However, during this time I had a couple of accidents , the first was when I fell down the stairs which are tiled as we don’t need carpets with such warm weather in this country, in fact, all our floors are tiled, no carpets at all. When I fell I landed on my knees OUCH ! the result was damaged kneecaps and torn ligaments so I could not walk for some time and to get up and down the stairs was impossible, I had to sleep on the bed-settee in the lounge which we usually have for guests. After this lapse in my Linear B study I then had to knuckle down as they say, to write a thesis which was published on my blog so you may have seen it.The title is “The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire” and is on Academia Edu. So as you can see there has not been much spare time to write a blog post but I hope you have enjoyed other excellent posts which I have re-blogged some with very important archaeology interests. However, I was horrified to hear today about the total destruction by fire of the Museum in Brazil. Such devastation through utter neglect and cut-backs is unforgiveable
MY SECOND ACCIDENT.
While walking our dog Koko along a perfectly flat road which is unusual in Crete, but this is the old road which is mostly used by the shepherds I tripped and landed on the left side of my face, I literally felt my head bounce back off the road, another OUCH !! Fortunately my partner was not too far away and was able to take me immediately to the hospital but there was blood all over my face, in my hair and all over my clothes. Poor Koko did not understand what had happened.. The hospital staff cleaned me up and stitched a cut over my eye and I was told I would have to wait for around four hours to see what was going to develop through this fall. Well you might guess, my face began to swell and my eye began to close completely. I then had a scan which turned out O.K. Over the next few days the bruising developed over the complete left side of my face and under my chin I looked a complete mess, not to mention some of the comments from our villager and friends, some sympathetic some witty such as, “who have you been fighting with” as if, or “who punched you in the face” besides the obvious witty remark to John “what have you done to her John ?” not funny at the time but I can laugh now. Needless to say it did shake me up considerably and I am only just beginning to get my confidence back for walking. I think that may have something to do with age. It has not been my year and I don’t think I shall forget 2018 for a long time.
ON A BRIGHTER NOTE.
Some time ago I researched my family tree on my mothers side and to my delight I discovered that one of my ancestors in the year 1630 was a “Minstrel of the Wood” what is a “Minstrel of the Wood”. you might ask. Now I know what a Minstrel is of course, but I was not sure about “Minstrel of the Wood” so I did some research. It seems that there are two types of Medieval musicians – The Minstrels and the Troubadours. A Minstrel was a servant first employed as a castle or court musician. A Medieval Bard.. The name “minstrel” means ” a little servant” and minstrels often created their own ballads but they were also famous for memorizing long poems based on myths and legends which were called ‘chansons de gest’. The role of the Minstrels was not quite as refined or poetic as the Troubadours. The role of the Minstrel often required many different skills including, juggling, acrobats, dancing and fire eating. Now maybe I inherited the dancing as I am a ballroom dancer. Minstrels were also required to play musical instruments recite poems and train animals as well as sing songs. WOW ! what an occupation
THE IMAGE OF MINSTRELS
The image of the Minstrel is a strong one. Minstrels were first and foremost entertainers and are remembered for their lasting image wearing bright coloured costumes riding on a costumed horse from castle to castle, singing with lutes thrown across his back. Now this explains all about Minstrels in general but not “Minstrel of the Woods” as recorded where my ancestor is buried with his wife at Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire England. So the only conclusion I can come to it must refer to the instruments made of wood. If anyone has any ideas I would be interested .
A Medieval Minstrel lute player.
Medieval Minstrels playing the flute
Minstrels with their Medieval instruments.
Minstrel playing a Medieval instrument called a Pibgorn which I have not heard of before. Photo courtesy of Iranon of Arda .You can go to this blog for more information regarding this unusual Medieval instrument.