Today’s post was going to be an end-of-year blog round-up, but I have decided to delay until early January, which will be a year since the blog began.
Instead, to end the calendar year on a note of Really Rather Weird, I give you The Wheels Have Eyes.
No, not a Google spy-car, but the earliest piece of Steampunky writing I have yet come across, in the Bible.
Yep, Steampunk in the Bible. The Book of Ezekiel, to be precise, written in the late 500s BC. Or possibly the early 500s BC, depending on how you look at it. 593 BC et seq. anyway.
Ezekiel sees an approaching storm in which are four winged creatures with lightning darting between them. Corresponding to each creature is a wheel – or rather a wheel intersecting a wheel, with eyes around the rim. (Try describing that to a police artist.)
“When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.” (Ezekiel 1:21)
The spirit is in the wheels? Sounds steampunky to me. Not to mention the diamond light around the throne above said creatures, on which is seated a figure like molten metal rising out of fire.
In fact, a Baptist minister once designed an aircraft inspired by this very vision – a little more Da Vinci than Verne, perhaps, but fascinating nonetheless. These Magnificent Ministers and their Flying Machines…
So there you have it. Your scriptural steampunkiness for the day, brought to you by the letter E.
Enjoy your New Year celebrations (“general rejoicings, and in the evening – fireworks!”) and look forward with me to 2014.