Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Early spectacles


Until I started to do re-enactment, I didn't realise exactly when spectacles appeared. They made a brief appearance in The Name of the Rose film, starring Sean Connery, who pulled some out in one scene. That film was set in the 14th century and I was a bit dubius. Then I saw someone from a late medieval group wearing them at Kirby Hall in around 2001. Spectacles were certainly around by the 15th century, as this photo of a section from some stained glass windows from All Saints North Street, York (which I visited last Saturday after scoffing John Hudson's lovely food) proves. They just balanced across the nose, and the reconstructions I've seen had wooden frames. At any rate, it allows medieval re-enactors to use this type of eye-wear should they not be able to wear contact lenses. As a Roman re-enactor, my partner certainly can't wear specs, so wears contacts, which also allows him to play footie, and actually see what he's doing!

3 Comments:

At 10:22 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

Footie?

Shouldn't that be Harpastum?

Time to put down my quizzing glass and go off to do some redrafting.

 
At 10:28 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, makes you wonder, with 25 years service and no contact lenses, how many Romans tottered half-blind over the battlefields and were a danger for her comrades as much as for the enemy.

 
At 11:18 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Stephen, if Man U. were around in Roman times, the dp would have insisted on playing for them :-) Back the the WiP, with you.

Yes, quite, Gabriele, on the poor eye-sight and the Roman Army Veterans! My eyesight's around average for my age, and I can't focus on distances as well as I used to, that's for sure.

 

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