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Image Description: A suit of armor and a painting of Henry Herbert, second Earl of Pembroke.

I had the occasion to go to the Toledo Art Museum to see an exhibit entitled, “The Age of Armor.” It was filled with armor from the Renaissance. These pieces were designed for battle, of course, but some of it was merely ceremonial, and in a few cases, we knew who wore it. In this image above, you can see the armor of Henry Herbert, second Earl of Pembroke. It dates from the 1560s. He was a nobleman in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and he was a sponsor of the theatrical company that likely included William Shakespeare.

So if I’ve met this armor, and I indeed have, I guess I’m two only degrees of separation away from The Bard.

When we see items like this at a museum, it makes time feel small. Even though it came from an era that feels like a different world in many ways, it’s just not that much time when you think about it. I also saw paintings from the 1200s and a clay hippo that is 6,000 years old!

Such different eras of time, but also… it’s not as long ago as it feels. In the scheme of larger time, this was just yesterday, and we were weirdos wearing metal, riding horses, and jousting others off their horses.

Renee Roederer

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