Kenilworth Castle in 1575
Robert Dudley's Kenilworth Art Collection
44. A little foulding table of ebanie, garnished with white bone, wherein are written verses with letters of goulde.
This verse is a copy of that written, in large white and gold letters, on a black ten foot square garnished table above the Castle gate to the inner court, according to the 1575 account by Robert Langham. The poem describes the Gods and their gifts to Elizabeth, Her Majesty the Queen.
45. A table of my Lords Armes.
An extract from the early fifteenth century (possibly even c1300) vellum roll manuscript of 4 membranes, known as Charles’ Roll, containing 486 coloured shields in 54 rows of 9. In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms, which were a legal property transmitted from father to son.
46-50. Fyve of the Plannetts, painted in frames.
Instead of planets, these items would more likely be depicting the corresponding Roman Gods, for example as illustrated by this series of five images from the fifteenth century Lombard manu-script 'De Sphaera'.
Mercury is the messenger of the Gods and he has wings on his shoes so he could fly. He is also the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication, travellers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves. He is typically depicted holding the caduceus (a staff with two entwined serpents, surmounted by wings) in his left hand.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son. Venus was central to many religious festivals, was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles, and was claimed by Julius Caesar as his ancestor.
Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods for the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him, and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.
Jupiter, also known as Jove, was the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology - the chief deity of Roman state religion in the Republican and Imperial eras. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt.
Saturn is the god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation, and he was celebrated in December. He also came to be a god of time, reigning over a Golden Age of plenty and peace. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury, and his name is used for both the planet and Saturday.