Thread: Mercenaries
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:15 PM   #30
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A cephalophore (from the Greek for "head-carrier") is a saint who is generally depicted carrying his or her own head; in art, this was usually meant to signify that the subject in question had been martyred by beheading... Handling the halo in this circumstance offers a unique challenge for the artist. Some put the halo where the head used to be; others have the saint carrying the halo along with the head...In Dante's Divine Comedy (Canto 28) the poet meets the spectre of the troubadour Bertrand de Born in the eighth circle of the Inferno, carrying his severed head in his hand, slung by its hair, like a lantern; upon seeing Dante and Virgil, the head begins to speak...The Headless Horseman has been a motif of European folklore since at least the Middle Ages...
Decapitation (from Latin, caput, capitis, meaning head) is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne is often depicted with his head on his neck/shoulders and carrying a second head in his hands. However, he is not a cephalophore. The second head is that of Saint Oswald of Northumbria, who was buried with him at Durham Cathedral... A link between Latin poets and the Middle Ages in transmitting the trope of the speaking head was noted by Beatrice White, in the Latin poem on the Trojan War, De Bello Troiano by Joseph of Exeter. Hector whirls in the air the severed head of Patroclus, which whispers "Ultor ubi Aeacides", "Where is Aeacides,my avenger?" Some modern authors link the legends of cephalophores miraculously walking with their heads in their hands to the Celtic cult of heads...The speaking severed head appears memorably in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight...

Last edited by lightgiver; 24-08-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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