Medieval London

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westminster-abbey aerial.gif
Benedictine monks arrived at Westminster in c. 960, but the building complex seen today dates primarily from the thirteenth century, when King Henry III began rebuilding the abbey church in the new Gothic style of architecture. By 1269 the choir and…

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Derived from the Greek word chrisma, meaning “anoint,” the same root word for Christós (or “anointed one”), the chrismatory was a receptacle for the oil used in sacramental rites of passage and church ceremonies. Measuring 47 millimeters (or 1.85…

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In this panel of the Seven Sacraments Altarpiece, the priest is holding a gilded chrismatory as he anoints the sick.

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Detail of historiated initial 'O'(rdo) of a monk providing Extreme Unction to a man in bed. The monk in the background is holding a chrismatory.

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A Bishop is anointing a boy with the chrism, in a confirmation ceremony, while holding a gilded chrismatory.

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The funeral procession taking the body of King Edward the Confessor (d. 1066) to Westminster Abbey, as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The Latin inscription at the top says: Hic portatur corpus Edwardi regis ad ecclesiam sancti Petri ('here is…

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Westminster Abbey is located in the town of Westminster (bottom left corner of map) which was a western suburb of London in the middle ages, but is now part of central London.

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An alembic was an apparatus, usually made of two vessels connected by a tube, which was used for the distillation of various substances, mostly liquids. The word alembic can be used to describe both the entire apparatus and part of the apparatus in…

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This is a 1520 map upon which I marked, with a red star, Fenchurch Street, since that is where this alembic was excavated.

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In this woodcut from Lazarus Ercker's Beschreibung aller furnemisten mineralischen Ertzt vnnd Bergtwercks arten ('Description of the Principle Mineral Ores and Methods of Mining'), published in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1580, one may see how the alembic…
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