Say Who I Am

Say who I am

glorious, useful to men

My name is famous

Bountiful to all and holy to myself

A fiend robbed me of life

Deprived me of worldly strength

Drowned me afterwards.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

The above is an Anglo-Saxon riddle.

If you seek the answer, walk through a field of cows and it is all around you.

Say Who I Am………

The answer is vellum.

Until the 14th century with the arrival of paper, the treated hide of cattle was used for all illuminated medieval manuscripts and the written word. You have to handle vellum very carefully; not just because medieval vellum is precious and fragile, but because it is somewhat stiff and requires it`s pages to be turned over slowly and with care. None of the impatient hustle and bustle and lack of respect of the modern reader rampaging through the pages of a paperback like a bull in a china shop. To turn the pages of a vellum manuscript is like paying your respects to an elderly Grand Duchess of some note and worthiness: elegance and decorum is due at all times.

The written word was a thing of magic and wonder in the Anglo-Saxon age: to be able to read and write brought you deep respect. You were an object of wonder, as well as someone touched by the Grace of God. Within barely one hundred years after the fall of the Roman Imperium in western Europe, hardly anyone was literate–including the emerging Germanic aristocracy which ruled matters. It would take until the early years of the 20th century before general literacy levels attained those once found in Rome`s empire one and a half millenia ago

Only now can everyone truly ask the question…….Say Who I Am, as well as write it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s