Overview

labour


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Labour of love work undertaken either from fondness for the work itself, or from desire to benefit persons whom one loves. The term was originally used (in the late 17th century) as a direct quotation from St Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians.

labours of the month in the Middle Ages, seasonal occupations associated with particular months, and often represented in sculpture and illumination. The traditional representations are: January, Janus (sometimes also sitting at a table feasting); February, a man warming himself by a fire; March, pruning (usually vines); sometimes also digging; April, a man in foliage; May, a knight on horseback; June, mowing (haymaking); July, harvesting (reaping); August, threshing grain (occasionally fruit-picking); September, treading grapes (occasionally picking grapes); October, beating acorns from trees (sometimes filling casks); November, slaughtering hogs (sometimes animals feeding from a manger); December, feasting.

See also Labours of Hercules, mountain in labour.

Subjects: Arts and Humanities.


Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »


Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.