Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The members of the Centre for Early Medieval Studies at the Department of Art History would like to cordially invite you to the public online lecture of Beate Fricke 12 Stones. 4 Elements. Tracts, Theories, and Representation. The lecture is part of the spring cycle of StředověC JinaX series.

The lecture will be held in English and streamed live via our YouTube channel (here) on April 21, 2022 from 5 p.m., and will be accessible later on our YouTube profile (here).


A reliquary cross with an unusual choice of depicted scenes and motifs helps us to reveal the intrinsic connection between invisible realms and visible signs in medieval natural philosophy. The cross was venerated in religious ceremonies, yet it can demonstrate the relationship between cosmos, mundus, homo et annus, between cosmos, world, mankind and time. The cross is not only connecting scholarly and spiritual worlds, on the contrary, these worlds which we tend to think apart from a modern perspective are intricately connected through the experience triggered by this unusual object, connecting visible and invisible realms. The material discussed in this talk are representations of the four elements, the so-called 12-stone tracts, and the reliquary cross.