1066: England’s Magnus Annus.

Adventures In Historyland

1. Signs in the heavens.

"These men wonder at the star" ISTI MIRANT STELLA. “These men wonder at the star” ISTI MIRANT STELLA.

It began in the heavens, when on the 24th of April 1066, before the Kalends of May and on the eve St Mark’s day, a cursed light was seen to creep into the night sky. The next day was a rogations day given over to prayer and fasting known commonly as the “Feast” of Letania Major, and a penitential procession would mark the occasion. For 7 nights this “long haired star” distracted worshipers from pious thoughts and redirected their gaze to its brilliant long trailing flare. It travelled over the dome of the world, so bright that it seemed to extinguish those lesser stars that got in its way. It turned eyes from the message of forgiveness and repentance to introspection and endless discussion of what it might mean. The ravenous object had come at a…

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