Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Is Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Ark) an exceptional historical figure. Absolutely, and for more reasons than you might think.
Have a look at some of the images below. If you look carefully you'll notice that none agree on what Jeanne actually looks like. Even in her testimony, and the extensive records we have of her (and she is one of the earliest people to be so thoroughly documented, and I think her are the first complete set of original court documents we have) there is very little mention made of her appearance, other than that she cut her hair short, or something about her clothing. We do have a google that one of the judges made on the side of a court document, a drawing he made of her.
In this day and age of celebrity, a fixation with appearance, it's incredible to look back to one of the most heralded women in history, who is wholly remembered for her spirit.
Jeanne also brings us to the subject of nationalism. When a nation is in decay, it can be a good thing. When it is one nation firing itself up against others it might not be.
I'll present some of the interesting aspects of Jeanne here, such as her diet (wine and bread), her mission and prophesies (including about her own capture and death) and how some depictions of her in movies get it all wrong.
I will also be including court documents (this is real testimony, words she spoke, responses she gave translated from French). This is perhaps the most self-evident stuff that speaks of an amazing young woman from France.