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Richard III and His Spine

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发表于 3-4-2019 16:05:57 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
John J Ross, How to Grow a Spine. Wall Street Journal, Mar 2, 2019 (in the section "Review")
https://www.wsj.com/articles/ske ... a-spine-11551450457
(book review on Brian Switek, Skeleton Keys; The secret life of bone Riverhead, 2019)

the first 4 paragraphs plus sentence 1 of paragraph 5:

"Pity poor Richard , who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and met a most grisly end. Even though his army outnumbered that of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field, he led a reckless cavalry charge in the hope of personally finishing off the future Henry VII. Unfortunately, his white courser got stuck in the mud, and he found himself surrounded by a swarm of formidably armed Welshmen.

"What happened next was revealed when a battered skeleton was unearthed in 2012 from an unmarked grave under an English parking lot, where the church in which Richard was buried had once stood. Researchers matched the skeleton's mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from one's mother, to that of Richard III's living maternal relatives.

"In Shakespeare's version of history, Richard was a misshapen sociopath, a 'poisonous bunchback'd toad.' Richard’s skeleton showed scoliosis, or a sideways curve in the spine, but nothing that couldn't be concealed with a bespoke suit of medieval armor. Tudor propagandists, seeking to bolster Henry’s sketchy claim to the throne, had exaggerated Richard's physical deformities, and perhaps his moral ones as well.

"But according to Brian Switek, the author of 'Skeleton Keys,' a provocative and entertaining magical mineral tour through the life and afterlife of bone, 'the strangest thing about Richard III's skeleton wasn't his unceremonious burial or his contorted back. It was what had been done to him on the battlefield.'

"Richard's bones indicated that he died in a flurry of savage violence. * * *

Note:
(a)
(i) The review is locked behind paywall. There is no need to read the rest, though, which is about evolution of bone since the beginning of life on earth.
(ii) "poisonous bunchback'd toad
(A) bunchbacked (adj): "having a bunch on the back; crooked"
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G.& C Merriam Co
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Bunch-backed
(B) Shakespeare was unfamiliar with medicine in this aspect. The medical term for that is kyphosis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyphosis
, whereas Richard III suffered from scoliosis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliosis

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 楼主| 发表于 3-4-2019 16:10:16 | 显示全部楼层
(b) Battle of Bosworth Field
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bosworth_Field
(Aug 22, 1485; In exile in Brittany, Lancastrian leader Henry Tudor crossed English Channel and beat Yorkist Richard III)

Bosworth Field is near Market Bosworth (presently a town).
(c) Richard III of England
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_III_of_England
(reign 1483-1485)

Quote: "After the battle, Richard's corpse was taken to Leicester and buried without pomp. His original tomb monument is believed to have been removed during the English Reformation, and his remains were lost for more than five centuries, believed to have been thrown into the River Soar [which flows through Leicester; a tributary of River Trent]. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was commissioned by the Richard III Society [1924- ; nonprofit] on a city council car park [British English for 'parking lot'] on the site once occupied by Greyfriars Priory Church. The University of Leicester [1921- ; public] identified the skeleton found in the excavation as that of Richard III as a result of radiocarbon dating, comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, and comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York. Richard's remains were reburied in Leicester Cathedral on 26 Mar 26, 2015." (citations omitted).

About 10 miles east of Market Bosworth by flight, City of Leicester is county town of Leicestershire.

(d)
(i) Greyfriars, Leicester
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars,_Leicester
(table: Order  Order of Friars Minor, Established  Before 1230, Disestablished 1538 [the year Henry VIII wholesale Dissolution of the Monasteries], Dedicated to  Unclear)

View the map at the upper right corner, atop the table.
(ii) Story of Leicester. undated
https://www.storyofleicester.info/faith-belief/grey-friars/

I do not know what top painting is about, which has no caption. However, the painting looks like Greyfriars -- only in reverse angle (looking from the tower toward the other (and lower) side. See (A) next.

Pay attention to two images:
(A) In mid-(Web) page, he first with caption: "A reconstruction of what the friary may have looked like in the late 15th century, looking north-west. De Montfort University/Digital Building Heritage Group."  Notice a tower.
(B) Toward bottom of the Web page, in the left column is the image with caption: "Aerial view of the Grey Friars site today, showing the location of the friary, looking north-west[.] University of Leicester Archeological Services."  Click it and you will see the present-day Leicester Cathedral is just outside the boundary of Grey Friars.
(iii) friar (n; Middle English frere, literally, brother, from Latin [noun masculine] fratr-, frater [brother])
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/friar
(iv) History of the Grey Friars before Richard III. University of Leicester, undated
https://www.le.ac.uk/richardiii/history/greyfriars.html
("The Franciscan Friars (Orders of Friars Minor, often called the Grey Friars from the colour of their garments) came to England in 1224, around a year before the death of St Francis of Assisi, their founder. Friars differ from monks in that they are not a secluded community but work among the local people, on whose charity they are dependant. The nave of the friary church would have been accessible to the public, while the rest of the buildings were private. Medieval Leicester supported two other friaries, one Dominican and one Augustinian")
(v) Franciscan Colors. OFM (Order of Friars Minor), Aug 15, 2017 (News)
https://ofm.org/blog/franciscan-colors/
("To speak of the color of the habits worn by Franciscans (men and women inspired by the charism of Francis of Assisi) is not an easy task. Throughout the centuries, the families of the first Order – that of the “friars minor” – adopted gray and brown colors (in many shades: light, dark, chestnut, reddish) … and even black.  There are new male and female congregations that even wear blue in honor of the B V [for 'Blessed Virgin'] Mary. * * * What did Francis [of Assisi (1181/1182 – 1226)] think about the color of the habit?  In the Rule [the 1209 'Primitive Rule'], Francis does not prescribe any specific color for the habit of his penitential followers, rather he invites them to 'wear humble garments,' to 'dress in cheap clothing' ")
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