700 year old emoji

I’m reading Purgatory by Dante, and came across this passage:

The sockets of their eyes were gemless rings; one who reads omo in the face of men, could easily have recognized the m.

My eyes widened a bit and I thought, that can’t possibly mean what I think it means. But I checked the historical notes on that verse, and:

The word omo (Latin, homo, “man”) can be “read” on the face of a man, if the eyes are the o’s, and the m is formed by the nose, eyebrows and cheekbones. It was believed in Middle Ages that God had thus signed and identified his creation.

This–combined with the jokes about the farting demon in Inferno–is leading me more and more to believe that humans never have, or will, change…


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