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May God preserve this built.



The custom of recording the year of foundation or time of rebuilding for posterity has produced a multitude of annals in various versions. Sometimes, however, they are not so easily discovered and artfully incorporated into chronograms.
The word chronogram, also called a time verse or an annual journal, comes from the Greek word "chronos" meaning time and "gramma" standing for writing.
It is a text, usually in Latin, which lends itself extremely well to "hiding" a year in it through the use of numerical letters. The letters M, D, C, L, X, V (or U) and I with also a numerical value of respectively 1000, 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1, are usually written extra large - often also colored differently - and together form a Roman year number. The arrangement of these numerical letters is not important.
It is a beautiful method of conveying a twofold message in word and time and it is a form of expression that was very popular in the past when making an initiation, celebration or commemoration text. Everyone who meant anything at the time also wrote chronograms. You can even speak of a Baroque fad. In the Latin schools the making of chronograms was stimulated, so there must have been people in Maastricht who understood this art.
Compared to other places Maastricht has a remarkable number of such texts on Gable stones. It is not likely that the average stonemason or patron was able to compose something so complicated. Therefore, there must have been 'specialists' who were responsible in the end for all those annual inscriptions on Gable stones with often otherwise 'ordinary' images such as a weighing house or a Saint Martin. The addition of a chronogram was then a fashionable extra.

2xV (5)= 10

2xC (100)= 200

1xD (500)= 500

1xM (1000)= 1000

together= 1710

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