Friday, August 24, 2012

Ireland: Co. Meath, Mellifont Abbey 2, stone carvers

The visitors center was filled with chunks of useful information as well as chunks of stone salvaged from the excavation of the site. One info board talked about the mason's marks.

Remember these communities were self-sufficient, and would include men from all walls of life. There was a hierarchy system, and the brothers were segregated into two groups: the choir monks, the educated, usually coming from families with money because getting an education took lots of money, these men were the thinkers, philosophers, scribes, and church leaders; and the lay monks, who did the work, farming, cooking, stone work, etc. There was no contact between these two groups except for a foreman to give work orders to the lay brothers. This system existed until very recently.

If a rich man wanted to rise up in the church quickly, the fastest way was to join a monastery. A man could rise through the ranks over time and become a bishop.

No comments: