Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Irish High Crosses!

Oooooh. Dr. Deborah Vess' Celtic High Crosses site is a must-see for St. Blog's parishioners. They're not painted anymore, they've been out in the Irish weather for over a thousand years, and a lot of pagan folks like to try to claim them for their own. But these great works of art and faith survive, still literally placing Biblical and Irish history inside the context of the Cross. As a bonus, you also get three Welsh high crosses! Did you even know there were Welsh high crosses? Me neither! What a site!

Note that, when you're looking at a Celtic cross' wheel-shaped halo, the line in "The Dream of the Rood" about 'eaxlgespanne' makes perfect sense. If the cross looks like a wheel, it's bound to have an axle. (I'm sure I'm far from the first person to notice this.)

Btw, as long as we're talking Unknown Facts (Pinky Carruthers would be proud), I recently learned that Echternach (of the beautiful illuminated Echternach Gospel) is not an Irish or Scottish place. No, it's in Luxembourg. (From that post about dancing procession for St. Willibrord.) Man, if I'd known that, I could've gotten Kev to visit there when he was doing Guard in Germany.

(Btw, does anyone know if the maze-like decoration behind the Lion of St. Mark in the Echternach Gospel is really supposed to be initial letters? And if so, what's the significance. There's pretty obviously an A and a B in the top left and bottom right corners, but beyond that?)

But alas, all I knew about Luxembourg was that it has a Grand Duke and that a Canadian syndicated Dracula TV series was shot there. (It was the one with Mr. A. Lucard the zillionaire, being fought by some Van Helsing kids and their grandpa.) Looking at IMDB, I see that the ubiquitous Geraint Wyn Davies was even in this sucker...ironically, as a Helsing, though he'd later play vampire cop Nick Knight in Forever Knight! Not a bad cast for a cheap little series with some pretty decent writing.

Luxembourg seems to have a really good set of Christmas customs.


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