A German fiddle of the ninth century, called lyra, copied by Gerbert from the manuscript of St. Blasius, has only one string.
In the illustration from the manuscript of the monastery of St. Blasius twelve strings and two sound holes are given to it. A harp similar in form and size, but without the front pillar, was known to the ancient Egyptians.
From Joh. Wolfii Lect. Memorab. (Lavingæ, 1600.)
It will be seen by the curious woodcut from Baptista Mantuanus, that he consigned Pope Joan to the jaws of hell, notwithstanding her choice. The verses accompanying this picture are:—
“Hic pendebat adhuc sexum mentita virile
Fœmina, cui triplici Phrygiam diademate mitram
Extollebat apex: et pontificalis adulter.”
It need hardly be stated that the whole story of Pope Joan is fabulous, and rests on not the slightest historical foundation. It was probably a Greek invention to throw discredit on the papal hierarchy, first circulated more than two hundred years after the date of the supposed Pope. Even Martin Polonus (A. D. 1282), who is the first to give the details, does so merely on popular report.
Europe at the Death of Charlemagne
England, 878 A.D
Costume of a Bishop or Abbot.
Costume of the Prelates from the Eighth to the Tenth Centuries--After Miniatures in the "Missal of St. Gregory," in the National Library of Paris.
Costumes of the Ladies of the Nobility in the Ninth Century, from a Miniature in the Bible of Charles the Bold (National Library of Paris).