AA Morris Presents: The Proper Gander At Propaganda Podcast
Podcast Episode 93: Building Role Playing Weapons of Mass Destruction
"Plays in the Middle Medieval Period led to the growth of towns and formation of guilds. This also led to important changes politically and economically, and more significant changes in the Late Medieval Period."
"mystery (noun) "handicraft, trade, art" (archaic), late 14c., from Medieval Latin misterium, alteration of Latin ministerium "service, occupation, office, ministry" (see ministry), influenced in form by Medieval Latin mysterium (see mystery (n.1)) and in sense by maistrie"mastery." Now only in mystery play, in reference to the medieval performances, which often were staged by members of craft guilds. The two senses of mystery formed a common pun in (secular) Tudor theater."
"The Greek word was used in Septuagint for "secret counsel of God," translated in Vulgate as sacramentum. Non-theological use in English, "a hidden or secret thing," is from late 14c. In reference to the ancient rites of Greece, Egypt, etc. it is attested from 1640s. Meaning "detective story" first recorded in English 1908."
"early 14c., in a theological sense, "religious truth via divine revelation, hidden spiritual significance, mystical truth," from Anglo-French *misterie, Old French mistere "secret, mystery, hidden meaning" (Modern French mystère), from Latin mysterium "secret rite, secret worship; a secret thing," from Greek mysterion (usually in plural mysteria) "secret rite or doctrine," from mystes "one who has been initiated," from myein "to close, shut" (see mute (adj.)); perhaps referring to the lips (in secrecy) or to the eyes (only initiates were allowed to see the sacred rites)."
"Featuring The Norwich Grocer’s Play, a new telling of the story of David and Goliath and other plays from the N-Town Cycle. Adapted and directed by Peter Beck."
"As early as the 1300s, mystery plays have delighted audiences in Norwich, giving dramatic life to some of the greatest stories ever told. Join us in the beautiful medieval settings of Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle for this piece of immersive theatre, performed in two parts. With a dramatic musical score and lots of special scenic effects, this production brings to life an exciting piece of local history. Part One of the mystery plays will be performed inside Norwich Castle Keep. Part Two will be performed in the open air at Norwich Cathedral Cloisters. "
Mystery Cult or Mystery Theater Troops?
"Mystery plays and miracle plays (they are distinguished as two different forms although the terms are often used interchangeably are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableauxwith accompanying antiphonal song. They told of subjects such as the Creation, Adam and Eve, the murder of Abel, and the Last Judgement. Often they were performed together in cycles which could last for days. The name derives from mystery used in its sense of miracle, but an occasionally quoted derivation is from ministerium, meaning craft, and so the 'mysteries' or plays performed by the craft guilds."
"As early as the fifth century living tableaux were introduced into sacred services. The plays originated as simple tropes, verbal embellishments of liturgical texts, and slowly became more elaborate. At an early period chants from the service of the day were added to the prose dialogue. As these liturgical dramas increased in popularity, vernacular forms emerged, as travelling companies of actors and theatrical productions organized by local communities became more common in the later Middle Ages. The Quem quaeritis? is the best known early form of the dramas, a dramatised liturgical dialogue between the angel at the tomb of Christ and the women who are seeking his body.These primitive forms were later elaborated with dialogue and dramatic action. Eventually the dramas moved from church to the exterior - the churchyard and the public marketplace. These early performances were given in Latin, and were preceded by a vernacular prologue spoken by a herald who gave a synopsis of the events. The writers and directors of the earliest plays, were probably monks. Religious drama flourished from about the ninth century to the sixteenth. In 1210, suspicious of the growing popularity of miracle plays, Pope Innocent III issued a papal edict forbidding clergy from acting on a public stage. This had the effect of transferring the organization of the dramas to town guilds, after which several changes followed. Vernacular texts replaced Latin, and non-Biblical passages were added along with comic scenes, for example in the Secunda Pastorum of the Wakefield Cycle. Acting and characterization became more elaborate. These vernacular religious performances were, in some of the larger cities in England such as York, performed and produced by guilds, with each guild taking responsibility for a particular piece of scriptural history. From the guild control originated the term mystery play or mysteries, from the Latin ministerium meaning "occupation" (i.e. that of the guilds). The genre was again banned, following the Reformation and the establishment of the Church of England in 1534. The mystery play developed, in some places, into a series of plays dealing with all the major events in the Christian calendar, from the Creation to the Day of Judgment. By the end of the 15th century, the practice of acting these plays in cycles on festival days was established in several parts of Europe. Sometimes, each play was performed on a decorated pageant cart that moved about the city to allow different crowds to watch each play as well as provided actors with a dressing room as well as a stage The entire cycle could take up to twenty hours to perform and could be spread over a number of days. Taken as a whole, these are referred to as Corpus Christi cycles. These cycles were often performed during the Feast of Corpus Christi and their overall design drew attention to Christ's life and his redemption for all of mankind. The plays were performed by a combination of professionals and amateurs and were written in highly elaborate stanza forms; they were often marked by the extravagance of the sets and 'special effects', but could also be stark and intimate. The variety of theatrical and poetic styles, even in a single cycle of plays, could be remarkable."
source: mystery plays
"How Medieval Mystery Plays Inspired Tarot"
"In The Devil’s Picture Book, Paul Huson discusses the connection of the Major Arcana or Trumps of the tarot deck with the ancient Mystery religions. He gives examples of the use of tarot-like figures in talismanic art, hymns to the pagan gods and goddesses, planetary and magical workings invoking the Gods through icons like those found on tarot cards. The Empress is the Goddess, the Devil is Lucifer, the Magician is Hermes and so on. He calls on Henry Cornelius Agrippa’s magical correspondences to create a thesis for the origins of Tarot that is wonderful to read and ponder. He also makes a fine case for the use of tarot images as memory devices for teaching spiritual truths the mostly illiterate people of the times."
"Huson develops a fascinating argument that the images of the Major Arcana were originally based on stock characters from medieval Mystery Plays. In Italian cities during the Renaissance, processions of pagan Gods, seated on thrones and carrying symbols appropriate to their functions, were pulled by chariot through the streets with great fanfare. It was a time when pagan Gods and Goddesses were in high fashion, eclipsing the state religion of Christianity, until zealots like the monk, Savaranola, preached fire and brimstone in the streets, demanding the sheep return to the fold. Under the spell of this fanatic and the social guilt he stirred up, the great Botticceli tragically burned some of his paintings of pagan subjects — thank God his Birth of Venus wasn’t among them! Playing cards, and especially the use of cards in fortune telling, went underground as a climate of fear sprang up around notions of the Devil and his secret followers."
The yellow and black blueprint for news and subsequent history:
Eternally Building Babel
Origins of the Tarot Cards link: http://www.rosae-crucis.net/Origins%20of%20the%20Tarot%20Cards.pdf
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