Friday, 22 June 2012

The oldest known depiction of Stonehenge

Lucas Deheere 1573-75  I myself have drawn them on the spot  British Library Add MS 28330, fol 36

1440? Corpus Christi College MS 194, fol 57

"That year Merlin, not by force but by art, brought and erected the giants' round from Ireland, at Stonehenge near Amesbury". 1440 Douai manuscript  Scala Mundi

Folio 30r of British Library, Egerton 3028, a manuscript of English chronicles including an abreviated version the Brut by Wace. This illustration shows the construction of Stonehenge with the assistance of Merlin and is the oldest known illustration of Stonehenge. 1338 -40

British Archaeology
The foundation myth appears in the 12th century. Stonehenge, or Stanenges, is first briefly mentioned c1130 in Historia Anglorum, written by the archdeacon of Lincoln, Henry of Huntingdon, at the command of his bishop Alexander of Blois. "Noone can work out", says Henry, "how the stones were so skilfully lifted up to such a height or why they were erected".
Shortly after, around 1136, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his Historia Regum Britanniae, drawing on a vast range of material, from the Venerable Bede to British and continental legends, to build a history of the British kings from the Trojan Brutus up to the 7th century. The immense success of his much copied text shows the deep interest it rapidly inspired.
The passage concerning Stonehenge has often been described, and is well elaborated in Chippindale's Stonehenge Complete (Thames & Hudson, 3rd ed 2004). The legitimate British king, Aurelius Ambrosius, is in exile in Brittany while his usurper Vortigern allies himself with the invading Saxon king Hengist. Vortigern and Hengist arrange a peace meeting at the "cloister of Ambrius" (Amesbury), but the Saxons treacherously slay 460 British lords. Aurelius returns, defeats both Vortigern and Hengist, and seeks a memorial to the dead. Merlin recommends the chorea gigantum, a stone monument on the Irish Mount Killaraus. Only his magic, however, can bring the stones to Amesbury, and he reconstructs them exactly as they were in Ireland. The text shows Aurelius's coronation in c480 and the erection of Stonehenge c485. Later Aurelius and his brother Uther Pendragon (father of Arthur) are buried at Stonehenge.

Historians have spent years debating whether Stonehenge was once a complete circle. Despite numerous tests and excavations, the mystery remained unsolved for almost 5,000 years. But staff at the neolithic site believe the question has finally been answered - all because a hosepipe was too short. 

Barack Obama in Stonehenge visit on return from Nato summitThe White House said the presidential helicopter Marine One stopped at Boscombe Down Airbase, Wiltshire, before his motorcade drove to the ancient monument.
Mr Obama described seeing the monument as "cool" and said it was something he could tick off his "bucket list".

Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds. They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution. Early results suggest that the iconic monument did not stand alone, but was accompanied by 17 neighbouring shrines. Future, detailed analysis of this vast collection of data will produce a brand new account of how Stonehenge's landscape evolved over time.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, has a message to Earth: it's time to go to Mars. He's been broadcasting it loud and clear for years, but now has made his mission even more majestic by posting this picture of himself taken at Stonehenge.

Plaatje van Stonehenge (GMG 432 88)
Date vanaf 1645
Source Biblioteca Nacional Espana
Author Blaeu,J

We promptly sat down with our backs to the sight we had come to see, & began to eat sandwiches: half an hour afterwards we were ready to make our inspection.

enid blyton / christmas book

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