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Tony Grist

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A Prince Of Denmark [May. 20th, 2017|10:47 am]
Tony Grist
The story goes that the leader of a Viking raid (or a "prince of Denmark" as my guide rather sweetly put it) got captured by the Saxons and was treated so well by them that he converted to Christianity- and- more than that- became an anchorite, living in walled up cell attached to the little church of St John-sub-Castro in Lewes.

The Saxon church was demolished in the mid-19th century to make way for the existing great barn of a place, but an antiquarian rescued the anchorite's memorial and placed it- partially restored- on the south wall of the new church, in an artistic arrangement that also features a medieval grave slab.

The inscription (courtesy of Wikipedia) reads...

"Clauditur hic miles Danorum regia proles Mangnus nomen ei mangne nota progeniei; deponens mangnum se moribus induit agnum, prepete pro vita fit parvulus anachorita",

Which- minus the clever wordplay of the original- translates as

"There enters this cell a warrior of Denmark's royal race; Magnus his name, mark of mighty lineage. Casting off his Mightiness he takes the Lamb's mildness, and to gain everlasting life becomes a lowly anchorite"


[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2017-05-20 10:10 pm (UTC)
So, this represents the entrance to Magnus' cell? I'm glad a wee bit of the original church was kept. I like the central medieval slab very much.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-05-24 08:41 am (UTC)
Yes, I suppose. Though the lettering would have been installed after his time- and the new church is actually on a slightly different site from the old one.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2017-05-21 08:18 am (UTC)
I see what you mean about the Neo-Gothic engine shed.

But what an amazing inscription.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-05-24 08:49 am (UTC)
I love how it uses wordplay to an entirely serious end.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2017-05-23 05:02 pm (UTC)
I suppose that means that the Bard should have called his play "Hamlet the Viking".
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-05-24 08:52 am (UTC)
..and cut all that tedious philosophizing and majored on the piracy and swordplay.
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