Recent links of note: 

“Reform, wrath and ruin: The devastating end of Tudor monasticism”
Lucy Wooding, Times Literary Supplement

For centuries, religious houses were an integral part of communities across England. But within four short years, between 1536 and 1540, 850 religious houses sheltering thousands of monks, nuns, and friars were shut down on the orders of Henry VIII. Many today assume that the king’s decision merely hastened the disappearance “of a medieval era already fading out of sight,” writes Lucy Wooding in the Times Literary Supplement. But The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History by James G. Clark argues that English monasticism was in fact thriving through the mid-1530s and was embedded deeply in Tudor society. The policy of dissolution, as Wooding explains in her review, was not carried out unchallenged but rather “proceeded in fits and starts, was debated, contested and frequently fiercely resisted.” Henry VIII even founded two religious houses as late as 1537, and for a time his own coffin lay in state at the empty Syon house, once the “jewel in the crown of Tudor monasticism.”

“Best physical evidence of Roman crucifixion found in Cambridgeshire”
Jamie Grierson, The Guardian

Archaeologists excavating the newly discovered Roman settlement at Fenstanton in Cambridgeshire, England, have announced the discovery of “best physical evidence of a crucifixion in the Roman world,” writes Jamie Grierson in The Guardian. The skeleton of a man with a nail through his heel bone, carbon-dated to between 130 and 360 A.D., was uncovered alongside forty-eight other bodies at the site of a future housing development. The bone specialist Corinne Duhig says that the discovery “shows that the inhabitants of even this small settlement at the edge of the empire could not avoid Rome’s most barbaric punishment.” While the identity of the unfortunate victim is unknowable, it is thought that the Romans reserved this type of punishment for slaves, rebels, and the lower classes. This is the first example of a crucifixion victim uncovered in northern Europe.

“Roger Kimball introduces the December issue.”A new podcast from the Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion.

“Washington Homecoming” by Paul du Quenoy. On “Come Home!: A Celebration of Return” at the Washington National Opera.

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