From the anonymous fourteenth-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Fit I, lines 136-150, trans. Bernard O’Donoghue):
a monstrous apparition strode in the door,
one of the tallest creatures in the whole of the earth.
So square and powerful from neck to waist,
his thighs and his forearms so muscly and long
you’d think that he was some kind of half-giant.
But I think what he was was the hugest of men,
the most pleased with his size of anyone living.
For, though his back and his chest were incredibly big,
his stomach and waist were fashionable trim,
and all his features in proportion, given his size, exactly right.
They were shocked by his colour though,
apparent at first glance;
what was most uncanny was
he was green from head to toe!
Later on in the poem it is revealed that this Green Knight is in fact Lord Bertilak, Gawain’s host, transformed through the magic of Morgan le Fay.
Thus I believe that I have discovered the origins of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. The Hulk is also entirely green, the monstrous alter ego of a regular human and, when transformed, has a much broader chest than waist (the Hulk’s shirts would always rip off, but never his pants).
An amusing bit of fake news from Tom MacMaster on this day:
Despite Melania’s wish, Trump is currently en route to an emergency meeting in the Senate and has dispensed with his security detail…
From the blog “O Say Can You See? Stories from the National Museum of American History,” Emily Pearce Seigerman provides a list of the top five best beards of Byzantium, as depicted on Byzantine coinage.
In honor of this festive season, a St. George-themed Christmas ornament, a souvenir of Westminster Abbey, courtesy of Ron and Sandra Good.
And from Facebook, a St. George-Alien mashup:
My grad school colleague Ellen Arnold has an interesting post up about medieval chronicles, and imagines the events of this year rendered as a chronicle entry. Of course, designating the president-elect as a “tyrant” rather ruins the effect, as very few medieval chroniclers would have courted the displeasure of the local ruler with such a gratuitous insult. Other than that, it sounds about right:
MMXVI. In the eighth and final year of Obama, the kings of Thailand and Cuba died. An assembly met in Paris to protect Creation, and the Pope declared a Jubilee year. Many entertainers were lost, including the Prince. In the Americas, infants were born with small heads, the drought continued, fires burned, and buffalo herds gathered to support the Dakota. Earthquakes in Italy. The world was warmer than ever before in human memory, and there was civil war in Syria. Fleeing the rise of a new Islamic State, people flooded into Europe, and Britain fled Europe. There was a total eclipse of the sun, a supermoon was seen, and octopodes walked on land. Baby bears were triumphant in sports and born at the Columbus zoo. A tyrant was chosen to lead America, and Pokemon were sighted throughout the world.
Read the whole thing.
Something amusing from Facebook, via my friend Deb Salata:
Something amusing, courtesy my friend Sarah Meacham: Adams and Jefferson go negative on each other.
I’m pleased to see some medievalism in the local Chick-fil-A:
I like the reference to Scrope v. Grosvenor (1389), but I don’t know what the arms on the breastplate refer to. (It is a nice design, though.)