February 28, 2013

Richard the Lionheart's heart... preserved in a lead box... analyzed by forensic experts.

The English king died in 1199.
After his death, his body was divided up - a common practice for aristocracy during the Middle Ages.... [The] heart was embalmed and buried in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Rouen....

The heart, which was wrapped in linen, also had traces of myrtle, daisy, mint and possibly lime...

"That consciousness of using very high-quality herbs and spices and other materials that are much sought after and rare does add to that sense of it being Christ-like in its quality... Medieval kings were thought to represent the divine on Earth - they were set apart form other lay people and regarded as special and different...."

29 comments:

AprilApple said...

So his heart was minty fresh? It would be nice to be burried with some mint. lime. A mojito.

Rob said...

Will there be traces of lion DNA?

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's high time they disinter Lewis the Horsedong.

MadisonMan said...

Preserved in a lead box, but it's nothing but powder now. Not a very good use of the word preserved.

EDH said...

Although he ruled England, he spent much of his time in France, and was killed there after being hit by a crossbow during a siege on a castle... However, another, less widespread theory put forward in a medieval chronicle is that Richard I may have been killed by an arrow coated in poison.

I'd assume during a siege of a castle there'd be no shortage of human poo that you could put on the tip of an arrow.

Patrick said...

Preserved in a lead box, but it's nothing but powder now. Not a very good use of the word preserved.

I don't think that word means what they think it means..

edutcher said...

Didn't something similar happen with Lord Byron?

campy said...

it's nothing but powder now.

Mine's been like that for years.

traditionalguy said...

Strangely the human remains of Jesus of Nazareth are still missing. The day they return should be an interesting story complete with CNN live coverage over the world's satellites with Sanjay Gupta trying to explain eternal life is no big deal.

AllenS said...

They need to test his DNA. At this day and age, a lot of people who've had their DNA examined would be able to tell if we were related.

ricpic said...

All Richard's are great.

Basta! said...

"All Richard's are great."

Is that because they're all Dicks? :)

EDH said...

The remains of his heart - now a grey-brown powder...

Oh, did Keith Richards have open-heart surgery?

ricpic said...

BIG dicks!

William said...

This useful practice of dismembering aristocrats and distributing body parts should be renewed. Well, not aristocrats exactly but celebrities. Who wouldn't want a souvenir body part of Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton. If put up for auction on E Bay, some of the choice organs would fetch a pretty price. They would make great conversation pieces and give needed money to the heirs. I'm sure Hillary is already studying the feasibility of reinstituting this hallowed tradition.

YoungHegelian said...

The history of dismembering saints & royalty for reliquaries makes for grisly reading for the modern reader.

What's really strange is that that really weird notion of keeping parts that comes out of early Catholicism doesn't get dumped by the Enlightenment crowd. They hop on the "parts is parts" bandwagon with glee, including such choice morsels as Haydn's head, Napoleon's wanker, and the heart of Gambetta in an urn by the front door of the Pantheon in Paris.

Mitch H. said...

The only shame about Richard I was that he wasn't dismembered while still alive. He was a bloodthirsty serial killer who spent most of his adult life burning and raping his way through his French possessions, when he wasn't in the Levant doing the same to the Holy Land. The Duke of Austria who kidnapped him for ransom on the way back from the Third Crusade and thus took him out of commission for years was an inadvertent benefactor to mankind.

bgates said...

Medieval kings were thought to represent the divine on Earth - they were set apart from other lay people and regarded as special and different.

Silly medievals, and their worshipful attitude towards government executives who weren't even Harvard Law graduates.

Kirk Parker said...

"Medieval kings were thought to represent the divine on Earth"

Awesome use of the obfuscatory passive there.

TMink said...

Davidic kings weren't even closer to God. Bad theology!

Trey

pj (lowercase) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Anyone else worried at all these remains of past royals popping up everywhere, being poked by scientists and facial reconstructionists? I am.

First, Richard III's body was dug up in a Leicester carpark. And only this week, the face of Henri IV was revealed to the world. Now Richard's eponymous heart!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

YoungHegelian,

My own favorite example is the reliquary of the tongue of St. Anthony at the basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. I haven't been there, but my husband has; he was working on a dissertation on the violinist Giuseppe Tartini, who was employed there for decades, and most of whose manuscripts are in the basilica library.

A fellow grad student asked, but why the tongue? Well, because the guy was a celebrated preacher.

Bryann mcgrew said...

I totally got what you had to say in your blog. i’m going to give you a thumbs up for good work.
company registration dubai

Bryann mcgrew said...

I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
International Business Company RAK

Bryann mcgrew said...

I am sure you must have enjoyed to the core writing on this topic. Nice post
UAE Audit

Bryann mcgrew said...

Great post, you have pointed out some great points , I also think this s a very excellent website.
Dubai Auditors

Bryann mcgrew said...

Its superb as your other blog posts , appreciate it for posting.
essay writing

Bryann mcgrew said...

This post is really incredible, one of the most helpful I have ever read, indeed.
offshore company in UAE
International Business Company dubai