8. Josephus Scottus. "Inclyta si cupias sancti sub culmina templi [Carmen VI," 9th century.
Published here in: Monumentae Germaniae historica [...] as in Item 7. (Physical exhibit displays facsimile.)
Davis Library Folio.

An Irish scholar in the Carolingian court, Josephus Scottus created several carmina cancellata, most notable the one shown here. Breaking with the tradition of strict rotational symmetry, but harking back to Greek shaped poetry, the intexts of the poem clearly suggest three crosses inside a church; indeed, the crosses are constructed of words of praise about the cross. Equally unusual is the manner in which the intexts break the bottom "floor" of the poem and extend beneath it. The eye is drawn to these "feet" which suggest the earthly foundation of the church. This visual device also suggests that the crosses are planted in the ground, perhaps bearing Christ and the two thieves on Golgotha, with the roof of the "church" in this reading being the celestial sky arching above them.

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