Byzantine Cross. Mount Athos. Monastery of Caracalla
CROSS FROM MOUNT ATHOS.
Initial letter B, Manuscript 10th century.
BEFORE the Christian era, Mount Athos was celebrated for the length of its shadow (ingenti tellurem proximus umbra vestit. Stat.), which was said to reach as far as the isle of Lemnos, for the multitude of its hares (quot lepores in Atho. Ovid.), and for having been the scene of one of the most wonderful exploits of Xerxes, who in his invasion of Greece is said to have cut a passage for his ships through the lower part of this vast mass of mountains.
Head-dresses of the ladies of the fifteenth century
L- Initial Letter
ELEGANCE and gracefulness, which had seldom exhibited themselves in the horned and peaked head-dresses of the ladies of the fifteenth century, began again to show themselves in the various headdresses of the beginning of the sixteenth. This was more especially visible in France, which country, then as now, took the lead in the fashions of dress.
QUIETNESS and peace were not among the most prominent characteristics of those ages, in which, unfettered by the sage power of judicious and efficient laws, people were taught to seek justice rather by their own strength, than by the intermediation of others. At that period, the songs which sounded most musical to the ears of the iron-cased barons were the romances that told of hard blows and doughty adventures, and the pictures most beautiful to their eyes were such as those which we here give in ouer plate.
DRESSES of ceremony for solemn occasions, particularly with persons in exalted stations, suffer fewer changes in the course of time, than those in common use. Our plate represents a king- of the latter end of the twelfth century, dressed in his robes of state; but we may probably take it as a good example of the regal costume during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.