Day 17

Today was a relatively uneventful day: I awoke with a sore throat; Class was about the myths surrounding paganism, what paganism actually is, what Christianity is, the growth of Christianity in the early days of Northumbria, the various types of Christianity present within Northumbrian society (namely Irish, British, Roman, and Gualish), and then an analysis of a primary source by Bede that was on the slow Christian conversion of the Northumbrian king Edwin. Then for the second part of class we got to look at the copies of the manuscripts/gospels/really old Christian books – one of which was the size of a small child/75 pounds, and the other cost as much as a car  – and they were all really cool since the text and images were all ornate, which is amazing considering the way they were made (calfskin for paper (one book would have taken 515 calves) a carved reed pipe for a pencil (which is hard to create a fine tipped pen out of), and colors that had to be bought elsewhere (like imported from the middle east to the north of England in 700ad).

Then after class our group picked up our student IDs at the university library (so we could get a free tour of the castle, which I took advantage of, but the tour was uneventful since it just provided the history of the castle – In 1066, after William the conqueror conquered all of England he appointed an earl of Northumberia to control the area of north England, but he and a few earls after him were killed by the locals.
So, William the conqueror took many soldiers up to northern England lays waste/killed nearly everyone, but not in Durham because it was an important city since it was right on the border near Scotland. So, in order to defend this region, William Created the position of a prince bishop, which was a secular king and a religious ruler essentially, and created the fortress in 1072. But, the keep at the castle was added in 14th century, and then updated in 1840 to create more student accommodation/have Bedrooms everywhere. The tour then continued into the two chapels at the site (the first was the oldest one in Durham, which also housed a thin escape wall if the castle was ever taken; the second was a Chapel added in 1540, and then expanded later, despite the funding cuts brought about by the dissolution of most churches by king Henry the 8th, because the main priest converted to Anglicanism quickly), a revolutionary architectural feat that is a Free standing staircase (that needed wooden support after 50 years, so it is no longer free standing), and the enormous dining hall (which I had dinner in last week).

After that I went to two pharmacies to purchase cold medicine, but bought some expensive cough drops/spray instead (a very frustrating experience). 

And then went to bed by 8 (but didn’t fall asleep until 2am… very frustrating).


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