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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2459 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #75 on: April 03, 2009, 01:27:22 pm »

p. 57

Of about the same period was the example in the church of San Savino at Piacenza. It is described by P. M. Campi in his "Ecclesiastical History of Piacenza" (1651), under the year A.D. 903. The signs of the Zodiac were placed in juxtaposition to it. The accompanying legend in this case consisted of four hexameters, to the effect that the labyrinth represented the world we live in, broad at the entrance, but narrow at the exit, so that he who is ensnared by the joys of this world, and weighed down by his vices, can regain the doctrine of life only with difficulty.


HVNC MVNDVM TIPICE LABERINTHVS DENOTAT ISTE:
INTRANTI LARGUS, REDEUNTI SET NIMIS ARTVS
SIC MVNDO CAPTVS, VICIORVM MOLLE GRAVATVS
VIX VALET AD VITE DOCTRINAM QVISQVE REDIRE.

In the Cathedral of Cremona, which, like Pavia and Piacenza, is on the banks of the River Po, is a mutilated mosaic of early date--possibly eighth or ninth century--showing part of an interlaced pattern which was evidently intended to refer to the Cretan Labyrinth, as it was placed close to two figures in fighting attitudes and armed with swords and shields, the right-hand figure having the head of a beast and the label "CENTAVRVS." (There was apparently little distinction between a Minotaur and a Centaur in the minds of some mediaeval artists.)

A rather larger specimen, 5 ft. in diameter, may be seen in the church of Sta. Maria-in-Aquiro, Rome. It is composed of bands of porphyry and yellow and green marble, surrounding a central plate of porphyry, and is similar in design to that at Lucca. Another church in the same city, Sta. Maria-di-Trastavera, has a labyrinth composed of variously coloured marbles worked in the floor.

p. 58

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