from An Introduction to Venantius Fortunatus for Schoolchildren
by Mike Schorsch

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CHAPTER TWO—UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIEVAL CONCEPT WORLD THROUGH METONYMY: ODOR SANCTITATIS

Poem II.I of Fortunatus

Nothing lifts the spirit and soothes the soul quite like
aromatherapy. The pure aroma
candle measures 3 ½ inches in diameter and
2 ½  inches tall.
Gentle, candle measures, gentle,
the pure aroma, gentle in diameter, gentle,
he was made a victim
for us, by holy love. The pure aroma
he pried the sheep from the wolf's mouth—
he, the sacred lamb—
with palms transfixed where he released
the world from its destruction—
and he shut the way of
individual scents in a large travel tin! And he shut
the way of death. Nothing lifts the spirit and soothes the soul
and he shut the way of death
quite like the pure aroma derived from a plant
from a plant's flowers, woods and fruits.
And he shut the way of death
by his own burial.
These pure essential
oil candles offer an array of therapeutic benefits, from stress
here was where that hand was fastened
down by bloodied nails,
an array of therapeutic benefits,
the hand that snatched Paul from guilt,
from stress relief and revitalization, to mental
clarity. Each candle
stole Peter from death.
Each candle is made of pure essential
oils mixed in 100%
soy wax poured in 100%
recycled tin containers with 100%
cotton wicks. O renowned, sweet wood,
There are no perfumes,
Strong in your fertility,
dyes or beeswax. Pure and natural
how you bear upon your branches
so many new fruits!
Corpses, fallen dead, arise
at your renewing scent
and they are coming back to life
they who saw no daylight!
The heat of fury kindles no soul
under this tree's branches
dyes or beeswax. Pure and natural candles
that are clean-burning for approximately
50 hours each. An all-natural aromatherapy
among your branches
an all-natural vine's been
an all-natural aromatherapy experience, a
vine's been hung—out of which sweet wine
runs down, a bloody red
experience with the freshest single-note
personality!

 

 

ASSIGNMENT FOR CHAPTER 2

On a scrap of leather measuring 3 ½ by 2 ½ inches, use the point of your compass to etch the correct answers to these questions. You must write out each question before supplying the answer.

  • How are the senses of smell and taste related? Why or why not?
  • If you hold your nose while eating, how are tastes affected? Why or why not?
  • Why do certain smells instantly evoke specific memories or feelings? Why or why not?

 

CHAPTER THREE—UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIEVAL CONCEPT WORLD THROUGH METONYMY: THE AESTHETICS OF ASCETICISM AND THE CENTRALITY OF TASTE

Poem XI.XI of Fortunatus: he attends the abbess's banquet

In winter we accumulate mucus and, the delights, see the
spices have long been used in India to balance the delights, see
in India in winter we accumulate mucus and
see the delights, cholesterol, the effects of the season.
Blessed delights! See the delights, dinner guests,
that scent adorns before your taste can praise them.
Plentiful reddening blossoms yield turmeric
an anti-inflammatory, plentiful reddening
blossoms, helps detoxify, yield soft pleasure.
The outdoors have barely as many roses as the table.
Where milky lilies whiten blooms of bleeding
spring foods, blooms of bleeding purple, the place
helps detoxify the body. Where milky lilies whiten
the body. The place is intensely fragrant, with a fresh
body. A fresh scent, helps detoxify the body,
mitigating these symptoms. Also one may want to reduce the milk
intake, stacked on dewy buds. The banquet's courses exult,
stacked on dewy buds. The scent is a raiment and a manifold
yogurt intake along with our special raita spices. Along with
our special raita, a manifold gift. The walls are glowing
with green raita spices containing mint, basil and digestive spices.
A rose grows only redder when crushed.
The walls are glowing with green ivy berries.
The whole array is so abundant that with its blossoms' brightness
you'd think a spring meadow flourished in this hall.
Use fresh, local, organic veggies along with
a rose. These fugitive courses, fading, quick-receding,
an anti-inflammatory. Let us be called mint and
basil - health protective properties. If these fugitive courses
bring pleasure, let us be called to your banquet
O heaven! The tapestry gleams with the masterly work of our
cumin - helps in digesting foods, the masterly work of our sister
helps detoxify the body, a rose grows only redder when
fennel helps in digesting foods, mustard seeds
helps in digesting foods, our mother
grows only redder when crushed. Our mother is worthy
fresh ginger - helps in digesting foods.
Our mother is worthy to have such an honor.
Blessed delights! Helps detoxify
the body a rose
grows only redder when crushed.

 

 

ASSIGNMENT FOR CHAPTER THREE

Role-play the various parts of the sensory organs as a class demonstration. For example, to illustrate how the eye responds to a sudden shift in light, role-play the above poem, with one student playing Fortunatus, one playing the Abbess Radegund, one playing Sister Agnes, who presents the Abbess with a finely-woven tapestry. Meanwhile the rest of the students should orally respond to the following questions, repeating each question orally before giving the correct answer.

  • Which taste cannot be detected by the tip of your tongue: bitter, sour, salty, or sweet? Why?
  • How do taste buds work? How does the tongue recognize different tastes, such as the bitterness of a lemon or the sweetness of sugar?
  • Hume begins by noting the wide variance among taste, even among people with “the same prejudices.” What examples from your own experience might support his claim here? Why or why not?