20 Bizarre Examples Of Medieval Marginalia

Yo, medieval scribes: no one’s going to read the text you so painstakingly lettered if you continue to draw weird and dirty pictures in the margins. Well, I guess you’re all dead, so we can’t fix this now, can we?

1. A penis tree

From a 14th century copy of Romance of the Rose.

ID: 610925

2. A monkey with an arrow stuck in its butt

From Bibliothèque Mazarine MS 520.

ID: 610929

3. Ass arrows, again

From the Rutland Psalter, c. 1260.

ID: 610938

4. An inappropriate rabbit

From Breviary, Use of Verdun c. 1302-1305.

ID: 610936

5. Another inappropriate rabbit

From Bodleian Library’s MS Douce 5.

ID: 610960

6. This obviously boneless individual

ID: 610986

7. An ape bludgeoning a man with an axe

ID: 610988

8. Whatever’s going on here

ID: 611785

9. Creative, naked nose picking?

From Book of Hours, Walters Manuscript W.102, fol. 92v.

ID: 611008

10. A man voiding his bowels

ID: 611807

11. An amputee brawl

From Bodleian Alexander (MS Bodl. 264).

ID: 611041

12. Ape sodomy

From Bodleian MS Douce 6.

ID: 611067

13. The guy on the left

From The Vows of the Peacock c. 1350.

ID: 611737

14. Ass trumpets

From The Vows of the Peacock c. 1350.

ID: 611761

15. Man riding a head toward a naked woman

ID: 611790

16. Hellbarrows

From The Taymouth Hours.

ID: 611107

17. Nom nom nom

From The Taymouth Hours.

ID: 611109


From Codex, with gloss of Accursius, MS Canon. Misc. 495.

ID: 612011

19. Babies torturing a naked man

From Breviary, Carthusian use. MS. Canon. Liturg. 410.

ID: 612058

20. A snake man playing the bagpipes with his anus

From Pierpont Morgan Library’s MS G24.

ID: 610956

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