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The Black Magus an Introduction

The Black Magus an Introduction

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Published by Michael Ohajuru

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Published by: Michael Ohajuru on Jul 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/26/2013

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TheBlackMagusanIntroduction
Issue 2
MichaelOhajuru
http://about.me/michaelohajuru
 
 
Good Afternoon ladies and gentleman for the next few moments I am going toexamine the presence of Black Magus in this remarkable piece of an Early SixteenthCentury English Gothic Church.This is a ten minute intro into an image that took nearly 1500 years to develop , sobear with me as I make great leaps in time
.I will start by telling you what it is, then give you some idea how the image of theBlack Magus arrived in Devon in the 16
th
century, finishing by telling you what thatimage meant at the time and perhaps what it means to us today in the 21
st
centuryLet
s consider what it is....It is part of a Church
s Rood Screen supported The Rood
 – 
The Cross.The Rood Screen separated the chancel - the holiest part of the church where thepriest conducted the mass at the alter
 – 
from the nave which contained thecongregation: separating the spiritual from the secular.
 
 
The screens had lavish decorative schemes made of saints and biblical scene suchas the Adoration of the Magi
 – 
the three kings visiting the infant Jesus.Most Roods or crosses and many Rood screens were destroyed during theReformation. This piece only survives as it was cut off at some time from its originalRood Screen perhaps during the Reformation Through comparison with survivingRood screens still in their original churches we believe that it was made for a churchsomewhere in Devon, sometime in the early sixteenth century.How did the image of the Black magi reach early sixteenth century Devon ?This is a complex and intriguing conflation and inflation of Biblical study, Europeancourtly practice, artistic tradition and some myths....The Adoration story is found only in one Gospel - Matthew chapter 2 - were just twoparts of the Adoration story are found
 – 
the virgin and child and the star
 – 
there is nomention of the kings , their numbers, the land they came from their names , ages orphysical appearance. Matthew only mentions Magi or wise men from the eastbringing gifts of gold , frankincense and myrrh.

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