Four minutes and thirty-eight seconds of total darkness on August 2, 1133 (Julian calendar), portended catastrophe: the death of King Henry I of England, followed by years of civil war, and Duke Frederick’s burning of Augsburg in Germany. In honor of today’s eclipse, I hope you’ll enjoy five chroniclers’ accounts:
“In this year King Henry went over sea at Lammas, and the second day as he lay and slept on the ship the day darkened over all lands; and the Sun became as it were a three-night-old Moon, and the stars about it at mid-day. Men were greatly wonder-stricken and were affrighted.”
Extracts are from David Le Conte at MrEclipse.com. He credits the first two quotes to UK Solar Eclipses from Year 1 by Sheridan Williams, Clock Tower Press, 1996, and the last three to Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation by F. Richard Stephenson, Cambridge University Press, 1997 (pages 392-393).
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.