Archive for Renaissance History

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-05-13

Alchemist Gift

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift –
The sergeant grabbed Angelina and tried to stand her up. Angelina’s head lolled back and forth and each time the guard lifted the sparrow of a woman to her feet her legs would buckle. After three attempts the sergeant laid the woman on her back, knelt down and felt her neck for a pulse. He looked up at the clergymen, the mayor and the contessa. And mouthed the word: “dead.” The bishop gave a nod and hand gesture for the body to be removed but just as quickly rescinded it. He  thought for a second and shared his epiphany: “May our heavenly father forgive this poor creature, as that coward Satan has killed her right here before us and snatched away her soul before I could grant her absolution. At her trial she admitted her guilt and I know she was repentant and eager to be forgiven. As Satan snared her soul and made her his slave, if any of you fall to your weaknesses Satan will be there waiting. It is all of our duties to be vigilant, to be on the lookout for the signs of the devil.” Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy – 02-03-13

Alchemist Gift

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift –
As the men spoke the contessa sat aloof, not out of apathy for the poor souls at her feet but more to create an emotional distance. She bided her time and thought of when it would be right for her to leave.  She held the goblet of water and took a sip now and then. She cast a sad look on the three women. Two were standing with their heads lowered, the third, the weakest one; the one who needed help from the dungeon had already sunk to her knees and was slumped forward in the prayer position of a good Mohammedan.

The crowd started to chat and move about, some of the young people crept closer to get a better look at the three women who were already tied to the stake. Some of the boys went through a number of machinations to spy the nakedness of Monica Longo. The guards chased them back.  The disappointed boys returned to their families without even a glance. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-02-13

Alchemist Gift

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
– The bishop was visibly angered. “You will address me! It is you who were found guilty, not Luigi or Sandro.  You would be just as guilty if your neighbor was not related to the good monsignor. You were seen near Luigi’s pasture waving a willow wand in the direction of his dairy cows.  For the next six weeks the cows could only give sour milk. Luigi was almost ruined. He could make no cheese or butter. You were seen not only by Luigi and two of his workers but also by Sandro.”

“Curious I would be seen by both men. When is it the work of the devil to dowse for water? Further, if you feed your cattle nothing but scallion and garlic the milk they give will smell rancid, will it not?” Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-01-13

 Alchemist Gift

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
– The bishop consulted his list and read off the second name: “Aurora Tocini! You are guilty of consorting with Satan through one of his familiars known to be a large black cat. You have also been seen summoning spirits, speaking and answering when no one could be seen.”

All the time the bishop was reading off the offenses, Aurora Tocini, a woman in her early sixties, stood with her head nodding involuntarily. She mumbled under her breath, then, called out some gibberish. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-29-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
– The women had their hands tied in front of them. They all wore the same dull colored, coarse garments that looked to be no more than old blankets which were slit to allow it to be worn over ones head like a loose shift. The women’s hair was mussed and matted, faces and feet filthy and they were pale and underfed. One’s legs and arms were covered with sores; another was wracked by a deep rasping cough.

The bishop stood and looked out over the crowd.  When he raised his hand the people became quiet and gave him their full attention. Only the faint whoops and laughter of the little children who were still playing could be heard. This was silenced as the children were snatched up or given a stern look. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-27-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Excerpt 3
wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift – Feeling very alone because of the count’s absence, Rosalba let her mind drift to Casa Bella, her ancestral home. It was a beautiful world unto itself. As her dowry was more than ample, and so demanded by her father, Casa Bella was kept in her name when she wed. That is where she and the count lived. The estate and lands covered a small valley. Over the years, from the work of many hands the hillsides were terraced and planted with grapes, olive, fig, lemon, almond, pear and hazelnut trees. A wide stream and two springs produced plenty of water. Where the hills met level ground golden meadows rolled forth and eventually transformed into a smaller line of hills, a natural border that ended the valley as well as the estate. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy – 01-24-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Renaissance footwear - Alchemist Gift

Renaissance footwear – Alchemist Gift

Excerpt 2

Alchemist Gift – The gentlemen were dressed in dark satins or rich brocades. They wore fine leather boots; each carried a walking stick surmounted with a heavy gold handle in the shape of an eagle or lion. Their serene wives and beautiful daughters draped themselves in silks and satins the colors of apricot or creamy lemon, cinnamon or dusty rose. They wore fine white stockings and the most fashionable shoes of the French design. Their dresses shimmered at the slightest turn or bow or curtsy.  The ladies made a wonderful sight in their ribbons and lace. As they twirled their parasols or flicked their fans, they chit-chatted and bestowed catty compliments on each other. Read more

Alchemist Gift – Alchemy 01-20-13

Alchemist Gift – Alchemy

Alchemist Gift – Join in the fun with the writer of the Alchemist Gift, a first draft novel written online, and let Mark know how you are enjoying the book. Make suggestions. He may incorporate them into the book. Ask questions. He will do research to answer your question. Let him know if you see some history or culture of the Renaissance that is mistaken. He will research it and let the readers know of the correction here in the blog. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-18-13

Alchemist Gift

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift

Excerpt 4

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: The following Sunday, the day of the burning, was crisp and cloudy. The clouds were bilious and silver-gray and filled the heavens; small patches of blue sky and rays of golden sunlight occasioned shown through. Unseen in the distance, veils of rain gently trailed from the clouds. In some places the first of the rain drops were big and scattered and they pocked the tawny dust. In other places a fine mist barely wetted the pathways leaving behind a fragile crust.

Father Eduardo Silva said mass that morning.  The church, Our Lady of Divine Mercy, was completed in 1146. Its high vaulted ceiling seemed to be gently held on high by the delicate gilded tracery that knotted into itself forming the capitals of the smooth marble columns. The tracery exploded into a fantasy of sweeping arcs and impossible curves that lead to the next column and to the next, from the front of the church all the way to the altar.  High narrow windows, each a station of the cross, told of the sad and painful journey our savior took his last day on earth. The stain glass artists crudely captured the grotesque and the sublime. At a certain time of the morning the sun shone through these brilliant shards and fell upon the faithful in colors of amber, scarlet and cerulean. Read more

Alchemist Gift 01-11-13

Alchemist Gift – History

monks Alchemist Gift

monks Alchemist Gift

Monks were not well liked

During the time of Alchemist Gift, monks of the 15thand 16th centuries were not known for their good behavior. By the 16th century many of the religious houses had long since lost their sense of purpose. Some, as landlords, oppressed the local population with exorbitant rents. Heavy debts encumbered others that had been poorly managed.

A priory “became a stopping point for Oxford students whose behaviour and ‘slovenly dress’ created complaints and gained the priory a dubious reputation. An Episcopal visitation in the 15th century reported monks missing holy service and visiting the public house instead, and the Prior having absconded.”*

Beer was drunk in some quantity by monks. In fact, those in Abingdon were rationed to twenty pints per day.* Read more


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