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Samson and the Lion
at Pieve S. Gregorio (Umbria)

[image ALT: An intricate large stone carving in medium high relief: a man wrestles with a lion, holding it by the jaws; in a setting of acanthus foliage. Below this scene, an inscription 'Leo et Sanson'. It is a depiction of Samson and the Lion, from the tympanum of the church of S. Gregorio near Castel Ritaldi (Umbria).]

Leo et Sanson: Samson and the Lion.

[image ALT: A photograph of a small section of elaborate stone carving, the center of an arch: a wide lower register depicts a six-winged humanoid — a seraph — flanked by winged griffins; the upper register, about one-third as wide, is mostly vine foliage with clusters of grapes, although on the viewer's right a small naked bearded figure swims thru them. An even narrower border above is blank except for an inscription transcribed and discussed on this webpage. It is the central inscription over the main door of the church of S. Gregorio near Castel Ritaldi (Umbria).]

AN · ML · C · XL · I — The year 1141.

That first L is not "50", but — notice the bar over ML — part of the abbreviation for millesimo, thousandth:


Notice also how the interpuncts (the wedge-shaped dots · used as separators) follow the spoken word, or in arithmetical terms, the place notation:

Anno · millesimo · centesimo · quadragesimo · primo

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Page updated: 28 Aug 05