2. Old townhall, Mechelen, Belgium - late 14th century
3. Village church, Eine, Belgium - 13th century
4. Village church, Eine, Belgium - 13th century
Does someone have a clue what these figures with bits in their mouths stand for? In the case of the male heads I can imagine it might have to do something with the legend of Aristoteles and Phyllis (see also fig. 2).
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and tutor of Alexander the Great, allowed himself to be humiliated by the seductive Phyllis, Alexander's favorite courtesan, as a lesson to the young ruler, who had succumbed to her wiles and neglected the affairs of state. Encouraging Alexander to witness his folly, Aristotle explained that if he, an old man, could be so easily deceived, the potential consequences for a young man were even more perilous.
However, I can not see why women would also be depicted this way and what the meaning is that is hidden behind it.
Any information on this matter would be greatly appreciated!