Doing research in Italy


I’m working like a dog here in Italy this week. Today I led my students on an expedition to the walled city of Lucca, where they all planned their historical/religio-political/timeslip/world-spanning thrillers.


Among the places we visited was the Cathedral of San Martino. This labyrinth is part of the wall outside the church. I don’t know what the words carved in the stone mean, but when I said them aloud, the skies darkened, bats flew screaming from the belfry, and a demonic choir began to sing. Then I got gelato.

6 responses to “Doing research in Italy

  1. That labyrinth is so cool! I could easily start to imagine all kinds of scenarios where that labyrinth could play a pivotal role… I love Italy and its architecture.
    ~ todd

  2. How lucky you are to be in lovely Lucca.

  3. Let me know if you need a translator next time! The Lunigiana area is a great choice for your research and for inspiration. Buon divertimento!

  4. Hi Meg and Happy New Year! What was the translation of the text around the labyrinth again? I have a friend who instructs at the university who is very curious to know. Hopefully its not an incantation that would unleash some malevolent force once uttered. 🙂

    But tonight is a time of the pagan Midwinter Celegration so that would probably nulify it, since its a time of feasting and merryment, Cam

    • The photo didn’t capture the quotation. Here’s information from the Wikipedia entry on the cathedral:

      ‘The rustic incised Latin inscription refers to ancient pagan mythology: “This is the labyrinth built by Dedalus of Crete; all who entered therein were lost, save Theseus, thanks to Ariadne’s thread.” HIC QUEM CRETICUS EDIT. DAEDALUS EST LABERINTHUS . DE QUO NULLUS VADERE . QUIVIT QUI FUIT INTUS . NI THESEUS GRATIS ADRIANE . STAMINE JUTUS’

      Feast and be merry!

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