New series. An investigation into how recent archaeological finds on the archipelago indicate that Orkney was the cultural capital of Stone Age Britain and the birthplace of the stone circle cult. Chris Packham uncovers the secrets revealed by the DNA of Orkney's unique vole, Neil Oliver explores tombs and monuments, Shini Somara experiments to discover how ancient Orcadians could have moved giant blocks of stone over rough ground, and Andy Torbet climbs a challenging sea-stack to unlock the story of Orkney's unusual geology.
TisILeclerc wrote:You could call it Peckham Rye no doubt...
'The unique inclusion of mistletoe, acorns, and aconite make this a uniquely refreshing beverage.'
They were held up as paragons of virtue, but one congregation of Essex nuns appear to have needed some pointers on how to conduct themselves.
In a book of advice for the cloistered women written more than 1,300 years ago, they were reminded of the benefits of virginity, warned of the sin of pride, and cautioned against wearing garments which “set off” the body.
The guidance came from the Anglo-Saxon cleric Aldhelm in a text dedicated to the abbess nuns of Barking Abbey, the oldest surviving version of which is now up for sale.
In the work, De Laude Virginitatis [In Praise of Virginity], the author tells the nuns that abstinence from sex is not enough - their “stainlessness of bodily virginity” must be accompanied by a “chastity of the spirit” if they are to avoid the “untamed impulses of bodily wantonness”.
Addressing the issue of clothing, he writes: “If you dress yourself sumptuously and go out in public so as to attract notice, if you rivet the eyes of young men to you and draw the sighs of adolescents after you, and nourish the fires of sexual anticipation ... you cannot be excused as if you were of a chaste and modest mind.”
Naughty Nuns, or no sex in Essex?
The four pages up for auction at Sotheby’s next month are inscribed on vellum - high quality parchment made from sheep skin or calf hide – from a copy of the book produced in around 800AD, and believed to have been owned at one stage by St Dunstan, a tenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury. They are expected to fetch £500,000.
the bifolium from a copy of Aldhelm, De Laude Virginitatis, written c. 800, which sold in the Schøyen sale in 2012 for £340,000).
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