Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm in an Old York state of mind

(A singular street)
(Photos by your humble blogkeeper)

Too pooped to post this evening, so I'll put up some pictures from my post-Crimefest excursion to York.

The energetic Roman emperor Septimius Severus died here, where he had come to fight the Caledonians.

A century later, Constantine was proclaimed emperor in York, where he had come to help fight the Picts. Once Constantine consolidated his power, he tolerated Christianity in the empire, and the rest is history.

And now I am, too. Goodnight.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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11 Comments:

Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Love "Shambles". Wonder if that has influenced the word meaning.

May 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, a shambles is a meat market or a butcher shop, and I imagine those were not always the tidies places.

May 29, 2012  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Oxford English Dictionary says:

...probably Old Norse skemill (Danish skammel)

"A table or stall for the sale of meat" > (later) "The place where animals are killed for meat; a slaughter-house" or "A place of carnage or wholesale slaughter; a scene of blood. Chiefly pl. const. as sing.; rarely in sing. form." > (much later) In more general use, a scene of disorder or devastation; a ruin; a mess. orig. U.S.

From Old Norse to the US in only 700 years!

May 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth:That is exactly the definition given in the guidebooks. And that means the word could be a remnant of the Viking settlement in York.

I had also learned that the sense in which people generally used the word today is of American origin, Sadly, it is those same Americans, some of them newspaper writers and even copy editors, who are doing what they can to make "rarely in sing. form." obsolete.

May 30, 2012  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Thanks. Makes sense.

May 30, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

One will hear guides pointing to the gutters along the Shambles that once ran with blood. Domesday Book apparently mentions the street as one of butchers, though I don't know if it was called the Shambles then. A plaque on the site said the street assumed its current form around 1400. So, much blood has flowed along those gutters.

May 30, 2012  
Blogger Simona said...

Have you gone on a ghost tour? I did it many years ago, on my only visit to York and I remember it as a fun evening.

May 30, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I just might have got around to the ghost tour had I stayed a day or two longer. Walking the streets around York Minster, though, it's not difficult to conjure one's own ghosts if one is inclined that way.

May 30, 2012  
Blogger Susan said...

Did you like York? I fell in love with it when I first saw it many years ago. I love the walls, and the old city center....where are you staying? In the city center?

Lovely pictures, too! and yes The Shambles was where the butchers hung their meat in the window. High Petergate is built along the lines of the original Roman road going through York.

Have you found any new British or York mystery authors to read?

June 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I am back home, unfortunately, but I would gladly visit York again. My hotel had a perfect location: Low Petergate, about midway between the Minster and the Shambles. But you'll know that York so walkable a city that there are probably few bad locaitons.

I walked most the walls and explored most of the entrance towers (I had to wrie "entrance towers" instead of "bars" lest anyone think I was bragging about my drinking.) The weather was sunny gorgeous except for a slight drizzle my last afternoon. The ruins of St. Mary's Abbey are a splendid place to relax on a sunny day.

Oddly enough, I know of no York mysteries.

June 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oxford English Dictionary says:

...probably Old Norse
skemill (Danish skammel)

Makes sense, since the Old Norse sk sound sometimes becomes sh in English words, e.g. skirt/shirt.

June 04, 2012  

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