Christmas, Coin Hoards, and Chaplains
the many kingdoms of men came to an end,
and when You were made man of the pure Virgin,
the many gods of idolatry were destroyed.
The cities of the world passed under one single rule,
and the nations came to believe in one sovereign Godhead.
The peoples were enrolled by the decree of Caesar,
and we the faithful were enrolled in the name of the Godhead,
When You, our God, were made man.
Great is Your mercy, O Lord, glory to You!"
I bet Jen guessed that was my favorite Christmas hymn right off the bat. :)
I didn't post anything for Christmas, because Christmas was kind of hard to explain. I wasn't happy because I wasn't where I wanted to be, but I was content to be where God was.
There's also a huge element of anticipation, of 'next year, in Texas, with the family'. There's a term used a lot in connection with Lent, 'bright sadness'. It's a temporary sadness that carries inherent in it the possible of indescribable joy. That's kind of what I had on Christmas.
"Why is all nature so mysteriously smiling in the days of the feasts?
Why then is our soul so light and joyous?
Why does the air in the temple seem so bright?
It is all because of the flow of Thy grace, because of the reflection of the light of Tabor.
Heaven and earth are then singing together a laudable song: Alleluia!"
My current book is Origins of the European Economy, by Michael McCormick. It's a collection and analysis of the surviving evidence for travel in Europe between 300 and 900. Not much speculation, just this number of accounts and that number of coin hoards and some really good stuff. I can get way, way too in to this, and then the hard part is not babbling about it to Jen at way, way more length than she really wants to know about.
It has raised some questions that I'd like to research further. Epidemology and health history are two of the areas touched on peripherally that I'd love to get further into. What diseases, where, and why? Demographic impact? Who did they impact? So on and so forth. In the chapter about the collapse of the sea trade in the Med, McCormick suggests that because bubonic plague is tied to rats and hence to ships, shipping, and seaports, one of the side effects was to devastate the skilled communities of sailors, naviagators, shipwrights, and shipyard craftsmen. This is the bubonic plague that started in the 540s and ran for 200 years, not the much better documented and studied 14th century outbreak.
I'm only a couple hundred pages into the book, will likely mention it further later.
Only a few more days, and there will be an Orthodox chaplain out here. He's got a liturgy scheduled on the 31st, presuming his flight doesn't get cancelled for bad weather or some other such nonsense. I can't wait.