Friday, September 11, 2009

Two-Legged Sciopod?

Julian Luxford (many thanks) sent these images to me, showing what he calls "the Dennington sciapod, from deepest Suffolk." It hails from the Parish Church of St. Mary, from a pew in the nave.

At a glance, they didn't raise my eyes, but a closer look suggests TWO feet, and two legs. The pose is Sciopodish, as is the size of of the foot/feet, but not the number. What IS this fellow? And what are those round objects between his arm and chest?

The images are quite large, so click on these for the full versions.


Melle said...

Going out on a limb here, but it looks to me to be a mistranslation of the Greek or Latin text, where the sciopod was given two feet rather than one...the round things may well be the fruit the sciopods sniffed for sustenance?

It would be interesting to see the other pew decorations to ascertain whether or not there's an ongoing motif of figures from Pliny's writings, far Eastern sights, Ancient wonders, monstrous and fantastic figures, or something along those lines.

Ana said...

I agree with Melle, though I don't remember sciopods smelling apples (like the astomi).

Ana said...

I just read in _Liber monstrorum_ that sciopds "have only one leg each for their feet, and their knees harden in an inflexible joint" [singula tantum habent in pedibus crura et eorum genua inflexibili conpagine durescunt] (Butturff 97). I wonder if this implies two feet, and would give place to such representation.