|St. George and the Dragon painting by Donato Giancola 2011.|
|George and the Dragon shadow puppetry.|
I love the tale of St. George, I am a real sucker for the romantic story of heroic George saving the damsel in distress from being flambéed by the nasty dragon. It was interesting to read a newspaper article saying that St. George's day was not celebrated nearly enough in England and that this should be changed. Where-as we have always celebrated it as a family.
|Edward Burnes Jones close up of his painting st. George and the dragon.|
In the year 303 AD the Roman Emperor Diocletian gave the order that all Christians were to be persecuted across Europe and he sent George to do his bidding. Unable to stand against his own people, George confessed to being a Christian himself and stood up to the Emperor's decision. George was tortured and beheaded by the cruel Roman ruler and died in Nicodemia April 23rd 303AD.
The story I always tell the girls every year is this legend :
|One of my favourite Knight illustration by Arthur Rackham - Stories of King Arthur.|
One day the straw's lot fell upon the King's only child, the beautiful Princess Sabra of Silene. The old King distraught with grief and anger told the people of his land that if they could find a way to kill the Dragon and spare his daughter from her dreadful fate, he would bestow upon that man half his Kingdom, his weight in gold and silver and the hand of his lovely daughter in marriage. The people fearing the wrath of the ever present Dragon refused the King's offer and took the Princess instead, dressed her as a bride to be like all the others before her, and tied her to Iron stake on the edge of the lake so the waters could rise around her with the swelling tide, and where she would await her fate with the Dragon.
During this time and quite by chance a handsome young Knight in shinning armour was riding past and through the small town of Silene when he heard the tales and witnessed the commotion of the townsfolk. Upon hearing of the young maiden's plight he rode out to the lake to see this beauty for himself.
Seeing this young man come to rescue her, the Princess Sabra, begged him to save himself and leave her to her death at the jaws of the mighty creature. George, who had already fallen in love with this vision of beauty before him, refused and vowed to stay at her side and defend her life with his own. To help his courage George knelt upon his knees and prayed, then he fortified himself with the sign of the cross at the maidens feet, and as he rose up to full height he unbound her from her rope bonds.
|Arthur Rackham is by far my favourite Knight illustrator - here is 'How Sir Lancelot|
fought the dragon'.
With all the towns folk gathered about and the King before him, George declared
that if they all converted to Christianity then he would slay the beast before their very eyes. The people agreed, and George slew the dragon with his sword, Ascalon, cut it into pieces and had it carted away in four horse carts out of the town. On the site where the dragon was killed, the King built a church in which all the people were baptizied including himself and his daughter. In the versions I love, George marries the Princess whom he rescued and receives half the Kingdom's wealth and of course they live happily ever after. x
|Arthur Rackham's dragon.|
After lunch we settled down to reading book 6 from The Odyssey - Nausicaa. I think the Ancient Greeks would have liked the much later tales of St. George, in a way he is very much like their hero Odysseus - much long suffering and enduring. This chapter picks up the story after Odysseus is stranded and washed up by the help of immortal Ino on the Phaecian beach and protected by the Goddess Athena. There was a lot of Greek hospitality Xenia, to cover in this chapter and it needed to be understood for a comparison later with the Cyclops.
Afterwards Pickle wrote a character synopsis of Nausicaa and then finished a foundation past exam paper on epic and myth and a past higher exam paper on questions concerning the two books just completed - 5 & 6 ( Calypso and Nausicaa).
For an unexpected afternoon cuppa and Minecraft get together we were joined by the lovely Gallivanter's family for a couple of hours. It's always nice to receive a visit as we don't get to see them very often. Different wheels turning and different plates spinning. They were kind enough to bring with them the bones of a full sheep (minus the head, which cannot be sold or given to the public for health law reasons). Very kindly K.P had offered to source the bones by asking her local friendly butcher (some one shamefully I hadn't even thought about asking myself!). The bones are residing in our garage waiting for the girls to have a day home together to get started on the final de-fleshing process, so they can reassemble them into a skeleton. All part of their self-learning for anatomy and dissection. To assemble a skeleton gives you a better understanding of bone and structure. It's another puzzle to be solved and just one way of thinking outside the box that 'home educated' teens tend to do. I am looking forward to seeing their learning process as they work their way through it. I think it will be very interesting.
As a surprise Hubby arrived home early for the afternoon and was later joined by one of his younger brothers before they headed off to the local cinema for a brotherly bonding birthday time.