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Saturday, February 13, 2010


St-Denis Basilica, St-Denis, France ~
October 15, 2008

I don't know the vintage of the flooring in front of the high altar (it looks relatively new), but it seemed strange to me that it was filled with signs of the Zodiac, as I had never associated these signs with Christianity. But I hadn't paid enough attention. It seems that the constellations helped people of the Middle Ages follow the dictates of the seasons in their preparation of food, planting of crops, and other seasonal activities that their lives depended on, or that added to their quality of life. These called Labors of the Months, and are often depicted around church doors, in stained glass, carved misericords, illuminated manuscripts, and elsewhere. Now I'll be looking for them!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


Francisca said...

I looked at your crab, saw the bull, and came here. Well, I AM a Taurus! Gorgeous floor, interesting blog.

Jacob said...

And the Roman church has always been able to integrate local (pagan?) customs with its "Christian" tradition...which sometimes leads to some peculiar situations and celebrations; cf. the Catholic religion in Mexico.