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July 2021 News

Newsletter

A dragon, a skylark and an owl walk into a bar.... I'm not sure where this is going but these creatures appear on some of the manuscript leaves in our latest Newsletter.  Click here Newsletter to read it.  Some of the items are sold, but email your interest in an item anyway and it may be available.

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Medieval owl symbolism

While today the owl is associated with wisdom and intelligence, in medieval Europe it was quite the opposite. The bird was said to be the companion of witches and its call meant that someone was about to die. A more disturbing element of owls' negative symbolism is their association with anti-Semitism. Owls, who are day-blind and live in darkness, were used to represent Jews in medieval England, who were said to have rejected the light of Christ and lived in the darkness of religious blasphemy. This accounts for the anthropomorphic appearance of some manuscript drawings of owls: they were sometimes given hooked noses to resemble Jews, and their horns represented the horned hats Jews were forced to wear.

Every day we receive dozens of Emails, tweets and messages from a diverse range of colleagues and institutions who send informative articles, upcoming and current exhibitions, research and just plain breath-taking and cute images. We regularly  post a selection on our Facebook page.

 

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