Eight Hundred Years of Magna Carta

The return to democracy that culminated in the American Revolution can truly be said to have begun on June 15, 1215.


The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215,
written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard
abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John.
The original wax seal was lost over the centuries. This document is held at
the British Library and is identified as “British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106”.

As is usual for venerated objects and moments, the Magna Carta of 1215 is not more authentic than the Battle of Bunker Hill. The former was repudiated and only reinstated fitfully and imprecisely; the latter was fought on Breed’s Hill.

But, both symbols are meaningful, and before psychology took the dark, mechanistic route to fractionating rats’ brains, there was some suggestion that we live powerfully in a world of metaphor, as well. The metaphors are unquestionable; the history not quite so.

Fairbanks_Robin_Hood  in the public domain

Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood


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