Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

The Sevso Plate * (27.8 inches in diameter) may also reference a hunting feast describe by the roman writer Philostratus. But the iconography is Christian. The Chi-Rho situated at the apex of the legend on the plate’s circumference is a symbol for Jesus Christ...
Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Hunting feasts have a long history. Among the Romans, one such by Philostratus Elder uses the rhetorical device of Ekphrasis, a verbal description of a visual representation, to illustrate a painting he observed in Naples. Ironically, none survive, if they existed at...
Cristoforo de Predis’s The Garden of Delights (1470c.)

Cristoforo de Predis’s The Garden of Delights (1470c.)

De Predis’ Venus: The garden of delights representing the joyful influence Venus exerts on mortals is an illustration for The Sphere of the Cosmos, De Sphaerae  (1466 or later). The original treatise dating from 1230c describes Venus’ feast day celebrated when Venus...
Edward Langley’s The Master of Game (1413)

Edward Langley’s The Master of Game (1413)

When Edward Langley, 2nd Duke of York, translated Gaston’s The Book of the Hunt (1389) into English in 1413, French was still the language of the Court and elsewhere. Whatever Edward had in mind, the translation the signaled the linguistic shift in English society,...
Gaston III, Count of Foix’s Book of the Hunt (1389)

Gaston III, Count of Foix’s Book of the Hunt (1389)

*Gaston III, Count of Foix, was nicknamed Phoebus because of his golden hair. He was a second-tier noble whose domain was Béarn, bordering the Pyrenees in southwestern France. Gaston was immensely rich, unlucky in love, delighted to compose poetry, and passionate...
Horace’s “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse”

Horace’s “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse”

Horace’s delights in a rustic country dinner, rusticus cenae, the custom of which is linked to the Greek custom of eranos, a dinner to which each guest contributes something. It was an old custom in Horace’s time, and soon faded. It was apparently unknown to the...
Vibia’s Tomb, Rome (350c.)

Vibia’s Tomb, Rome (350c.)

Vibia’s Tomb or Hypogeum (underground chamber), built around 350, is located on the Appian Way in Rome. It is actually a burial place for Vibia and her husband Vincentius decorated with a narrative of their journey from this world to the afterworld.  Vibia’s story...
Virgil’s Aeneid (19/29 BCE)

Virgil’s Aeneid (19/29 BCE)

Virgil’s Aeneid tells the story that when Aeneas and his troop landed in Latium, they were so hungry they ate the thick slices of stale bread that served as trenchers. According to prophecy, this meant they had reached the place to build a new Troy. Though this first...