Cadets Discuss Topics From The Middle Ages
How do you combine discussions of architecture, chivalry, and the rise of the university in the middle ages into a single class at West Point? You bring Cadets to Taylor Hall of course. MAJ Ron Braasch’s HI361 class did just that this week where they discussed Taylor Hall’s neogothic designs and medieval-like features. The centerpiece of Taylor Hall’s interior is the fireplace in the academic board room finished by Lee Lawrie in 1908. It contains the figures of Joshua, Hector, David, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, King Arthur, Godfrey of Bouillon, and Judas Maccabeus. These figures, called the “Nine Worthies” since the 13th century, appeared alongside the first tangible definitions of medieval chivalry. MAJ Braasch’s class discussed the power of these imposing images and how the memory of the middle ages had a profound effect on officership in the early twentieth century.