Even allowing for the destruction of many Irish and English Sheelas since the Middle Ages, as fashion turned against such sexually explicit imagery, they could never have been as common as Green Men, which often constitute the only decoration in medieval churches. The first systematic study of them was published in 1978 by Kathleen Basford, who demonstrated that these portraits are also found in French Romanesque churches, and that a prototype for them exists in masks sprouting vegetation which come from Roman sites in the Rhineland and at Rome itself. She added that the examples of these images in churches were from the beginning more demonic and menacing than those of the ancient Romans. In the thirteenth century the faces became more human, although still usually anguished or evil. But in the late Middle Ages, when (like Wild Men but unlike Sheelas) they were much more abundant than before, they reverted to being devilish again. She concluded that they were surely representations of lost souls or wicked spirits, rather than symbols of spring and of rebirth. It may be relevant that to some medieval Christian authors, leaves were associated with sins of the flesh. (Hutton, The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles; my emphasis)
Leif902 wrote:I also think to much emphasis is placed on the G[reen]M[an]'s archetectural appeal, he was a myth originally and was not created for archetectural use (pardon my spelling). [...] Remember, he developed independant of culture in many parts of the world, that is what makes him an archetype, so perhapse the J[olly]G[reen]G[iant] is just another form of that culturally independant Green Man.
Dendrias wrote:Now, in this wikipedia discussion and somewhere else on the internet, people tend to hint at something without showing it. This makes me and , because I, as a "classicist" haven't seen a Roman foliated head, by now. Could You possibly please post me one, as soon as You find one.
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