Historical setting: 589 C.E. Châlons
The servant folds down the sumptuous linens and our ewer is replenished and now Ana and I are alone.
I ask Ana what she discovered of a woman’s anatomy in the books.
“I’ve learned more from the shepherd. The only medical book was the Roman book from which my teacher’s own medical book was copied. I memorized it as a child. And here it is from some Roman scribe! It was interesting to see, but not helpful.” [Footnote 1]
“Did you read more of Augustine?”
“No. Actually, I spent the time in the volumes of bible. The servant helped me handle the great works, so I could look at all those stories and Psalms which I’ve only heard in chants and sermons. I found the Gospel of John, Chapter Eleven is of particular interest.” [John 11 That’s the Lazarus story]
“Oh you did? You probably noticed you don’t really need a clay flute to waken this dead man, just a shout from Jesus does the trick.”
“It was more of a plea from a weeping Jesus.” She argues.
“The ‘beloved disciple’ telling the story knew one thing well. The loudest weeping is when grief is mingled with guilt. It’s one hurt for the loss but also maybe Jesus was feeling remorse for his own tardiness; don’t you suppose?”
Ana brightens, reminded of a meaty piece of royal gossip she’s heard. “It was like finding the King in Châlons when Orleans is the royal city of Burgundy. I heard the gossip about King Guntram’s recent journey to Orleans. He only went because Chilperic’s son whom he adopted was gravely ill. It took a messenger on a fast horse only a day to deliver the news, but Guntram took weeks to travel that same path. His whole entourage of guards and servants, and even the holy man for the child’s kingdom, Gregory, Bishop of Tours, went at the King’s slow speed, dawdling the whole way.” [Footnote 2]
I can envision it, “Guntram who doesn’t much enjoy the company of aristocratic bishops slow-walking all the way…”
“It was like Jesus with no hurry to save your family the expense of that funeral, according to the writings by that beloved disciple. Apparently Jesus dawdled along the way too.”
“Guntram probably didn’t want to face his sister-in-law, Ferdigund, but he would have had a terrible grief had the child died.”
Ana points out the obvious, “His adopted son, Clothar didn’t die. Guntram found him well.”
[Footnote 1] She could have found it interesting. Galen, Roman physician was notably inaccurate but came close to recognizing the uterus as different from an internal version of male genitalia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen Retrieved 5-14-22
[footnote 2] Gregory of Tours who was along on the journey told of his own impatience with the old man who was King. This is found in book X of The History of the Franks.